The Rays are in Chicago to take on the White Sox in what for mid-June is a big series featuring the top teams in the American League.
The three-game series also showcases a matchup between two of the six Tampa natives who have managed in the majors, White Sox Hall of Famer Tony LaRussa and the Rays’ Kevin Cash.
Top starter Tyler Glasnow will be on the mound for the Rays, and veteran Lance Lynn, who is 7-1 with a league-best 1.23 ERA, for the Sox.
The Rays go into play tonight 42-24, with a three-game lead over Boston in the AL East. The Sox are 41-24 with a 5 1/2 -game lead over Cleveland.
Both managers said nice things about the other team, and that they expect a good series.
“They’re very, very impressive,” La Russa said of the Rays. “I actually think there’s a lot of things that our two clubs have in common. About playing nine innings and making a lot of priorities to defense and baserunning and taking at-bats as best you can. And both are pitching well. It’s going to be fun competition. I watched them for two years when I was with Boston. And they’re for real.”
Said Cash: “We’re facing a team that’s very good. They’ve got off to a good start. They had a good year last year. They’re extremely talented. The pitchers that we’re going up against (Lynn, Dallas Keuchel, Lucas Giolito) have all put together really good seasons at this point. The bullpen’s very deep. The hope is it will be three really good games. We’re going to have to play well to stay in them and give ourselves opportunities to win.”
* Pitching prospect Shane Baz was promoted from Double-A Montgomery, where he was 2-4, 2.48 with 49 strikeouts in 32 2/3 innings, to Triple-A Durham, where he will make his first start Wednesday.
Here is the Rays lineup:
And for the White Sox:
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