Chicago White Sox vs. Oakland Athletics
Thursday, October 1, 2020 – 3:10 pm EST – Oakland Coliseum
ALWC Game 3
- White Sox: Dane Dunning (2-0 3.97 ERA)
- Athletics: Mike Fiers (6-3 4.58 ERA)
It’s do or die. Game three. Playoffs. This is what we live for. The White Sox pitched their way through the first game but the Athletics hit their way through the second game. Now we’ve got a third game to see who advanced in the playoffs.
The probable pitchers are currently Dane Dunning of the White Sox and Mike Fiers of the Athletics. The pitchers haven’t been announced just yet and if there are any changes, we will update as soon as possible.
With Mike Fiers taking the hill, the Athletics weren’t going to risk sending out another left-hander against the White Sox right-handed heavy lineup. So Fiers will get the call with a 6-3 record in 11 starts along with a 4.58 ERA and a 4.94 FIP. Fiers has low strikeouts and low walks but has allowed 1.37 home runs per nine innings, even pitching in Oakland for half of his games. Oakland has a pitcher-friendly ballpark.
Fiers will allow balls in play in this start and has a very high SIERA of 5.24 through two seasons. At home, he has a 6.20 ERA and during the day he has a 4.67 ERA with opponent batting averages at or around .300 per split. Right handers are hitting Fiers with a .308 average while lefties have five home runs and a .244 average.
Meanwhile, Dane Dunning will get the call for the White Sox. The rookie will pitch in the biggest spot of his life. Dunning will have a short leash in this start and then the White Sox will rely on their bullpen. Dylan Cease pitched one inning in yesterday’s game so you’d have to imagine Dunning will surely get the start here.
If it’s not going to be Dunning, the White Sox will go with a bullpen game. If it were up to me, I’d stick with Dunning who has shown potential this season. Dunning is 2-0 in seven starts with a 3.97 ERA and a 3.99 FIP. He’s getting 45 percent of ground balls but allowing 3.44 walks per nine innings.
Dunning has struggled in his last two starts. The White Sox will look to minimize damage from Dunning. He’s allowed nine runs in his last seven innings against the Indians and Cubs off nine hits and four walks.
Dunning still has a .197 opponent batting average but he’s done very well against right-handed hitting with a .152 average against from the right side. Lefties hit .246 but there will likely only be three lefties in the lineup for the A’s.
No matter who gets the ball for this MLB pick, whether it’s Mike Fiers or Sean Manaea, the White Sox will have great splits.
The Athletics bats were fantastic on Wednesday and really elevated their velocity and launch angle on their hits in that game. They’ll get Dunning who has struggled early in starts recently along with a bullpen that could include Reynaldo Lopez to piggyback off Dunning.
Everything is unknown in the playoffs. It’s hard to know exactly who will be brought in as the managers like to keep it quiet. We’re sitting here not even knowing the starters but no matter the projected starters, the White Sox have a lineup that can do damage against either starter.
The Athletics are home and perform with Fiers on the mound. Fiers bends but doesn’t break. It’s hard to predict a winner but in an elimination game, the pressure is on the arms, not the bats. Take the full game over when the MLB odds are finally released and pitchers are finally scheduled.