White Sox

FanDuel Friday: Taking a chance on the high upside of Carlos Rodon

carlosrodonwhitesox.png

FanDuel Friday: Taking a chance on the high upside of Carlos Rodon

There are several top-notch pitching options in Friday's slate of games with the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Madison Bumgarner, Michael Pineda, Bartolo Colon and Dallas Keuchel all scheduled to start. 

But the starter that may give you the most bang for your buck is White Sox rookie Carlos Rodon, who impressed in his first major league start against the Cincinnati Reds, striking out eight while allowing just four runs on two hits. Rodon should find success with a high strikeout total against a lefty-heavy Oakland Athletics lineup at the O.co Coliseum.

Find out who else we like tonight in our lineups below and feel free to tweet us questions @CSNFantasy:

John "The Professor" Paschall

I’m in a gambling mood so I took a chance with my pitcher for tonight’s slate of games. But Rodon has the upside to do well in his second start because of his high strikeout total. There doesn’t seem to be any kind of a leash on Rodon so I’m not worried about an innings limit either for this game. The A’s offense isn’t overwhelming, though they can sneak up on you at any point.

Because Rodon was so cheap, that allowed me to select an All-Star lineup of hitters.

[SHOP: Gear up, White Sox fans!]

Ramirez has been on fire for the White Sox lately, coming in on an eight-game hitting streak, and will face Jesse Hahn, who has been roughed up in his last two starts. Beltre has had better success this year against lefties and has started to find his stroke after a slow start to the season. Cabrera and Kinsler’s power this year has come against righties, making their matchup against Carlos Martinez seem enticing. Martin, on the other hand, may not have the power against lefties like he does righties, but he’s hitting .444 against southpaws compared to .256.

I’m still waiting for Stanton’s home run against the Dodgers to fall from the sky. Did I mention he’s also crushing right-handed pitching with all eight of his home runs this year against them? Watch out, Julio Tehran. 

Michael Smith

Nothing is more important in baseball than pitching, both good and bad.  There are several top shelf options for starters today, like Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel, but with so many poor starting pitchers tonight I wanted to save my salary for offense.  With that in mind I went with a mid-tier option in Bartolo Colon.  Colon is still somehow getting it done with a 6-1 record, to go with a 3.30 ERA and 40 strikeouts in 46 innings, and he is a solid favorite to get the win tonight against a Milwaukee team that strikes out the 3rd most in the majors.  Now looking at offense, there are 3 or 4 starting pitchers who I want to target with my position players.  Chad Billingsley and Bruce Chen are both past their prime and are making their 3rd and 2nd starts of the season respectively.  Both pitchers have an ERA over 9.00 so far, so there should be plenty of opportunities for both the Diamondbacks and Rangers.  After a slow start Adrian Beltre has been heating up over the last week, and at $3,100 I think will be the best value play of the day with the potential to be the day’s top offensive player.  I also wanted to stack Dodgers hitters, so I went with Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier.  Don’t let the low over/under of this game prevent you from using as many Dodgers as you like, as the number is more a reflection of Clayton Kershaw’s ability to shut down the Rockies.  The Dodgers have scored the most runs in the National League and Eddie Butler is not a good Major League pitcher.

Mark Strotman

I made the cardinal sin of putting in two hitters against my batters, but my Russell Westbrook Picks of the Week are still Dee Gordon and now Giancarlo Stanton. Teheran was the best value I could get while still rounding out my potential power numbers nicely with Norris, Fielder and Cain. As always I love speed in my outfield, which is why Cain and Hamilton are again in my lineup. Moustakas has slowed some but is still pretty nice value here, even if he's facing a 5-0 Michael Pineda. The big ones here are Gordon and Stanton. If you can start with those two and fill in around them, you'll be looking at a payday. 

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

rodon-624.jpg
USA TODAY

Carlos Rodon's first win in 10 months showed he could still be the ace of the future for White Sox

As encouraging as the reports are on many of the White Sox’s minor-league pitching prospects, Carlos Rodon’s effort against the Athletics on Sunday at Guaranteed Rate Field could prove just as significant to the rebuild on the South Side.

Looking much like the ace the Sox envisioned prior to Rodon’s rough 2017 season that ended with shoulder surgery, the left-hander put together his most successful effort of ’18 during a 10-3 drubbing of the Athletics before a sun-drenched crowd of 21,908.

Making his fourth start of the season, Rodon matched a career-high by going eight innings. He yielded two runs on seven hits with no walks and three strikeouts. Rodon earned his first win of the season to help the Sox salvage a split of the four-game series.

“I felt good today—a lot of strikes,” Rodon said. “It was good to go eight and just be ahead of guys.”

Helping matters for Rodon was an offensive explosion by the Sox, led by Yoan Moncada’s career-high six RBIs. After falling behind 2-0, the Sox plated five runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings as Moncada cleared the bases with a double off the base of the wall in the fifth and launched his 10th home run of the season to drive in three more an inning later.

“Today was a great day,” Moncada said via a team interpreter. “I just went out to play the game the way that I play. Just to have fun. It was a very good game for me.”

Daniel Palka and Yolmer Sanchez also homered as the Sox won for just the second time in their last 11 games.

Rodon was the happy recipient of the run support to win his first game since Aug. 21, 2017, against the Twins. On Sunday, he threw 99 pitches, 69 for strikes and was consistently in the mid-90s with his fastball.

“I’m looking to do that every time out,” Rodon said. “Just show up and establish the strike zone with the fastball and be aggressive.”

The 25-year-old’s second-inning strikeout of Khris Davis was the 400th of Rodon’s career. It is a career that is continuing after a surgery that was a setback, but one that did not derail Rodon’s confidence that he would again pitch effectively.

“There are up-and-down days when you go through shoulder surgery or any surgery for any player,” Rodon said. “You've just got to work through it and try to make your way back. I'm here now and it’s looking up and I’m trying to get better.”

So is it reasonable to view Rodon as the future ace after all?

“You certainly can’t discount that,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He has to go out there and continue to get his feet underneath him and get through the rest of the season healthy and climbing.”

In other Sox pitching news, Renteria said starter Dylan Covey, who was removed in the fifth inning of Saturday’s game due to a hip flexor injury, “felt better” Sunday and the team will continue to monitor the right-hander’s progress.

Meanwhile, veteran Miguel Gonzalez made a rehab start for Triple-A Charlotte as he continues to recover from inflammation in his right rotator cuff. Gonzalez went three innings and allowed one hit with a walk and a strikeout. Outfielder Eloy Jimenez belted his first homer for the Knights in the game.

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

soria-624.jpg
USA TODAY

Joakim Soria knows he is turning into a valuable trade asset for White Sox

No one knows better than Joakim Soria that the more successful he is as the White Sox’s closer, there is an increased likelihood that the veteran right-hander will be headed out of town at some point.

Soria has not only solidified the back end of the bullpen, the 34-year-old has emerged as perhaps the Sox’s most valuable trade asset to a contending team in need of relief help.

Over this last 14 appearances, Soria has not allowed an earned run and has converted all seven save chances with five hits allowed, two walks and 15 strikeouts.

“My body feels good and my arm feels good,” Soria said before the Sox defeated the Athletics 10-3 on a sunny Sunday afternoon at Guaranteed Rate Field. “I come to the ballpark expecting to pitch and … I try to be out there and help this team win.”

While the Sox haven’t done a whole lot of winning of late—Sunday’s win was just their second in their last 11 games—when they are victorious it’s accompanied by a Soria save. With the Sox’s rebuild in full swing, Soria understands that general manager Rick Hahn won’t hesitate to flip him in a trade.

“Players say they don’t think about it but you have to think about it,” said Soria, who was acquired from the Royals on Jan. 4 in a three-team trade also involving the Dodgers. “When you have a family with three kids and a wife you have to be prepared for everything. But it’s not like I come to the field thinking about that. It’s just God’s plan and whatever happens it’s a business and you prepare.”

Soria has 215 career saves, including 162 in seven seasons with the Royals, but hadn’t been a full-time closer since notching a combined 24 saves with the Tigers and Pirates. With the Sox, Soria won the closing job over fellow veteran Nate Jones in spring training and has been nearly unhittable in recent weeks.

Over his last 13 2/3 innings pitched, Soria has held opponents to a .109 batting average and sports a 2.89 ERA for the season. He has issued five walks in 28 innings and is averaging 10.29 strikeouts per nine innings pitched.

The two-time All-Star has settled in nicely in a Sox clubhouse featuring a mix of veterans and promising talents. Soria has to balance that with the knowledge he might not be around as the season progresses.

“It’s something I can’t control,” Soria said. “I have a really good relationship with these guys and the chemistry with this team is very good. I can’t think outside of the box because (a trade) hasn’t happened yet. You have to keep focused and be ready for today’s game.”