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Blue Jays vs. White Sox: Abreu, Giolito Look to Continue Strong Play as Series Begins

After splitting the first two games of their homestand, the Chicago White Sox will be back in action on Thursday night as they begin a four game series against the Toronto Blue Jays.

The White Sox and Blue Jays are well acquainted with one another, as they just contested a three game series north of the border last weekend. The Sox won the final two games of that series, outscoring the Jays 12-3 and getting strong pitching performances out of both Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo López.

This time around, both pitchers will face the Jays again, and Dylan Covey will also get a shot at revenge against Toronto.

Here are the pitching matchups, and a few factoids, about the series:

Thursday: Marcus Stroman vs. Dylan Covey

Covey lost his last start against the Blue Jays, giving up four runs and walking five batters in the game, but he’ll be hoping he can get some help from teammates who have been hitting the cover off the ball at home.

Tim Anderson has five home runs, 11 RBI, and seven stolen bases in 20 games at Guaranteed Rate Field this season, and he’s batting .354 at his home ballpark. Yoán Moncada has also been strong at home, with five home runs in 19 games, but he’s also struggled against the Blue Jays, with a .162 batting average and 12 strikeouts in 12 career games against Toronto.

Friday: Aaron Sanchez vs. Iván Nova

Another White Sox player who is really hitting the ball well at home is José Abreu, who has six home runs and 17 RBI at his home ballpark this season. He has also lit up the Blue Jays as well, with 17 career extra-base hits and 26 RBI against Toronto. He is batting .308 in 143 career at-bats.

In his last start against the White Sox, Sanchez had mixed results, giving up five earned runs (including two home runs) and striking out 11 batters in six innings. He has given up at least three earned runs in each of his last three starts, undoing some of the great work he did early in the season.

Saturday: Daniel Hudson vs. Lucas Giolito

Giolito has been one of the White Sox strongest starters this season, and he’s been especially dominant lately. In his last four starts, Giolito has given up four earned runs while striking out 28 batters and walking seven. His ERA has dropped nearly two runs over that time, and now sits at 3.55 on the season.

In his last two starts, Giolito has given up one earned run and struck out 16 batters in 14.1 innings of work.

Sunday: Trent Thornton vs. Reynaldo López

After a rough start to the season, López has battled back with quality starts in five of his last six outings. He has struck out 41 batters in those six outings, and is finding his control again after giving up a slew of walks early in the season.

Thornton has had an up-and-down season thus far for Toronto, with two of his last three starts landing on the “good” side of the equation. He did not pitch against the White Sox, but had seven strikeouts and gave up two earned runs in 5.2 innings against the San Francisco Giants on Tuesday. He did walk five batters however, and tends to give up a lot of fly balls, so the Sox could tee off on him during the game.

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