No team in the majors has been hit harder by injuries this season than the Chicago White Sox, with young rising star outfielders Eloy Jimenez and Luis Robert yet to play in 2021 and still several weeks away. Second baseman and Rookie of the Year candidate Nick Madrigal is done for the season. Add reigning AL MVP Jose Abreu to the walking wounded as he was hit on the knee by a pitch Sunday and almost surely not playing Monday and may land on the injury list as well. The Sox are -130 home favorites on the William Hill Sportsbook MLB odds vs. the Minnesota Twins.
Chicago had to play two games Sunday vs. Seattle because of a suspended game Saturday due to rain. In the first game, Abreu was hit on the left knee by a 96-mph pitch from Seattle reliever JT Chargois in the bottom of the sixth inning. Abreu was down for a while before being helped off. It's being called a bone bruise for now but may necessitate a trip to the injured list.
That's the last thing the Sox need as while they still lead the division and are -600 favorites to win it, they have dropped seven of nine and the offense as a whole is in a major funk. Abreu is hitting .241 with 12 homers and 53 RBIs. He started pretty strong but is batting just .181 with one homer in June. Abreu has battled a few other injuries as well.
The Cuban is attempting to join Cecil Fielder (1990-92) as the only players ever to lead the American League in RBI three straight seasons. Rogers Hornsby (1920-22), Joe Medwick (1976-78), George Foster (1976-78) and Fielder are the only players in history to lead his league in RBI in three straight years. Abreu's 53 RBIs are seventh in the AL – Toronto's Vladimir Guerrero leads with 66, so it's going to be tough for Abreu to catch Baby Vlad.
It's Lucas Giolito (5-5, 3.80) on the mound Monday for the South Siders. The right-hander has had three straight quality outings and beat the Twins on May 19 in Minneapolis, allowing one run and two hits with 11 strikeouts over eight innings. Nelson Cruz likes facing him, going 9-for-23 with four homers.
Kenta Maeda (3-2, 4.85) goes for Minnesota. He took a no-decision at the White Sox on May 11, allowing three runs over five. The right-hander has been much worse on the road (5.40 ERA) than at home (3.29 ERA) this year.
Chicago has won six of the past seven in the series and four straight at home on the MLB picks.
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