Phillies vs White Sox series preview: Back-to-back sweeps on the cards for Philadelphia

Philadelphia Phillies’ Cristian Pache reacts after hitting a RBI single off Colorado Rockies pitcher Jacob Bird during the 10th inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

The Chicago White Sox come to Philadelphia for the last of what has been three straight home series for the Phillies. It has been a successful homestand for the Fightins, currently sitting at 5-2 with sights set on back-to-back sweeps for the first time since 2022. The starting rotation has been dominant to start the year and are the biggest reason they are 11-8.

Phillies vs Royals: How are the teams trending?

The Phillies are fresh off a sweep of the Colorado Rockies that included a complete game shutout by Ranger Suarez in the second game of the series. The pitching combined for a 1.93 ERA and allowed only one home run all series. The offense wasn’t great, but they are clearly improving. They hit five home runs this series, three in the final game.

The White Sox had a tough series against the Kansas City Royals, with close games and struggles both at the plate and in the bullpen. Despite hitting just .197 as a team and facing challenges with their rotation, they managed to keep the games close, allowing only two runs in two out of the three games and four runs in the other. They lost the series, but it wasn’t because of the pitching.

Philadelphia Phillies’s Bryce Harper follows through after hitting an RBI single off Colorado Rockies’ Cal Quantrill during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 15, 2024, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Phillies vs Royals: Pitching matchups

Spencer Turnbull and Garrett Crochet kick off the series. While with the Detroit Tigers, Spencer Turnbull faced the White Sox five times, pitching 19.1 innings with a 6.52 ERA. He has yet to get a win against the White Sox, but I bet that changes this series. He got slightly hit around his last outing against Colorado, but he has been lights out aside from that.

Garrett Crochet has yet to face the Phillies in his two years as a major leaguer, but he’s sporting a 3.31 ERA with 31 strikeouts in the 22.2 innings he’s pitched this season.

Zack Wheeler and Michael Soroka are set to take the mound in game 2. Wheeler, having faced the White Sox three times – twice as a Met and once as a Phillie – boasts a 4.15 ERA and 13 strikeouts over 17.1 innings. Despite the struggling White Sox, Wheeler has been in top form this season, suggesting little change in the outcome. Soroka, a former Brave, has met the Phillies three times in 2019. He has a 4.40 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 14.1 innings.

Zack Wheeler Phillies
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Zack Wheeler leaves the game during the ninth inning in Game 7 of the baseball NL Championship Series Arizona Diamondbacks in Philadelphia Tuesday, Oct. 24, 2023. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Aaron Nola will face off against rookie Nick Nastrini. In his sole previous encounter with the White Sox, Nola pitched seven innings, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out ten batters. On the other hand, Nastrini, with just one major league appearance, pitched five innings, tallying five strikeouts while surrendering only two earned runs.

The Phillies are fresh off a sweep, and while back-to-back sweeps are difficult, I don’t see why they can’t do it again. They have their two best pitchers going this series and the bats are starting to make solid contact consistently.

AP Photo/Matt Rourke