White Sox series preview: Can the Phillies build on offensive outburst?

The Phillies head to the South side of Chicago for the final three games of this road trip to take on the White Sox. Coming off a split against the Cincinnati Reds, the Phillies could really use a series win over the Sox.

The Phillies will play a double-header on Tuesday, due to weather conditions postponing Monday’s game. The Phils will send Zack Wheeler to the mound for Game 1 and Bailey Falter to the mound for Game 2. Yunior Marte was called up to the team as the special 27throster spot, that is featured for doubleheader days.

Struggles in the Southside

The Chicago White Sox are in a very similar situation as the Phillies. The team has a ton of talent and potential, but just haven’t put it all together. Chicago sits at 6-10 on the year, the same as the Phillies. The Phillies should be able to take the series, if not sweep the White Sox on the road.

All-Star shortstop Tim Anderson will miss this series with an injury, which is a good thing for the Phillies. Dylan Cease, the runner-up for the American League Cy Young award last season, pitched on Sunday, meaning the Phillies won’t face him either. A couple of good breaks for the team.

The Sox lineup is very powerful, so the Phillies pitchers are going to have to command their pitches well in this matchup. Guys like Luis Robert, Andrew Vaughn, and Jake Burger have plenty of power to punish mistake pitches, and the Phillies can’t afford to blow through their starting pitching in yet another series.

The player to watch for in this series will be Luis Robert. Coming into this series he is slashing .277/.288/.569/.857, with 5 home runs and 11 runs batted in. If our starters can keep him off his game, this should be a winnable series on the road.

Offensive Outburst

The Phillies are coming off a great performance on Sunday afternoon. Scoring 13 runs in any game is an accomplishment and hopefully, the Phillies can keep the momentum going.

Currently, the Phillies sit at the top of Major League Baseball in hits, doubles, triples, and batting average. The team has been able to get guys on, but have not been able to bring them home, which is one of the reasons they are 6-10 to start the year. 

Alec Bohm, Bryson Stott, and Brandon Marsh have been on fire to start the season. Stott’s 16-game hitting streak is putting him in rare company and he has become a force at the top of the lineup.

Brandon Marsh’s numbers are so good that he would be in the MVP race if the season ended today. While you might not think of Marsh as an MVP-caliber player, he is certainly playing like one. Brandon needs to be in the lineup against both righties and lefties moving forward. Enough of Rob Thomson benching him in favor of Christian Pache when a left-handed starter takes the bump against the Phils.

Phillies Nick Castellanos
ATLANTA, GA Ð OCTOBER 12: Philadelphia right fielder Nick Castellanos (8) runs to first base during game 2 of the NLDS between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves on October 12th, 2022 at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire)

Watson’s Watchlist

In this series against the Chicago White Sox, there are two things I am watching for from Philly.

  1. Phillies score 5 runs or more in each game. 

I am challenging the Phillies to put up some numbers in this series. They are facing Lance Lynn and Lucas Giolito on Tuesday for the doubleheader. While they are both more than respectable pitchers, they both have struggled to start 2023. The Phillies bashed Sandy Alcantara last week and he is one of the best pitchers in all of baseball. If they can beat up on the NL Cy Young, they can take advantage of struggling right-handers for Chicago.

  1. Bullpen pitches three clean games

I am also challenging the Phillies bullpen in this series. They had Monday off and for the most part the entire bullpen had off on Sunday as well. They are coming into this series somewhat rested, which has not been the case for most of this season. I challenge the ‘pen to not allow a run in this series. If they are on their A-game, there is no way the Phillies will lose this series. Letting Alvarado face the best part of the lineup, using Soto in the closer role, and using Dominguez and Kimbrel in clean innings can be a recipe for success in the Southside of Chicago.