The White Sox will unsurprisingly send their two top starting pitchers to the mound in the first two games of their opening-round playoff series.
Manager Rick Renteria said before Sunday's regular-season finale that Lucas Giolito and Dallas Keuchel will be the first two starting pitchers out of the chute as the White Sox attempt to make an extended run in the postseason.
After losing to the Cubs on Sunday, the White Sox ended up with the No. 7 seed on the American League side of baseball's playoff bracket. They'll square off against the AL West champion Oakland Athletics in the best-of-three set beginning Tuesday afternoon in Northern California.
Giolito and Keuchel not only separated themselves as far and away the top two pitchers on the South Side starting staff this season, but they've been two of the best starting pitchers in the AL. Keuchel finished the campaign second in the Junior Circuit with a 1.99 ERA. Giolito, who threw one of the two no-hitters in baseball this year, finished second in the AL with 97 strikeouts. Both pitchers finished behind Cleveland Indians ace Shane Bieber in those respective categories.
Who Giolito and Keuchel will be going up against remains to be seen, with the A's not yet announcing who will throw for them in the first two games of the series.
Oakland's best pitcher this season has been former White Sox hurler Chris Bassitt, who allowed just one run over 26.2 innings in his four September starts. He finished third in the AL in ERA, with a 2.29 mark. Other candidates to make first-round starts for the A's are veteran Mike Fiers (4.58 ERA), Sean Manaea (4.50 ERA) and 22-year-old second-year pitcher Jesús Luzardo (4.12 ERA). Manaea and Luzardo are both left-handed. The White Sox went 14-0 against left-handed starters this season.
Giolito and Keuchel will enter with a heavy advantage against the A's lineup, which did not produce very well this season. Oakland ranked eighth in the AL in runs scored and 10th in OPS.