MLB News

Here are probable pitching matchups for the Crosstown Classic series

White Sox fans will get a taste of one of the league's best

NBC Universal, Inc.

Between Tuesday and Wednesday evening this week, the White Sox and Cubs will undergo two of four games they have scheduled against each other for this season's Crosstown Classic series.

However, there's a chance Tuesday's game won't happen because of the inclement weather that is expected to hit Chicago. Either way, we can preview the first stint of the Crosstown Classic's pitching matchups.

As it stands, Game 1 features a pitching matchup between Shōta Imanaga and Chris Flexen.

MORE: Luis Robert returns, Tommy Pham to IL ahead of White Sox-Cubs series

Imanaga is off to an incredible start to his MLB career with the Cubs this season. He owns a 1.86 ERA accompanied by a 1.00 WHIP, 61 strikeouts and 26 walks. In 58 innings and 10 starts this season, he's also earned a 5-1 pitching record.

He throws a devastating four-seam fastball 56.9% of his pitches, according to Baseball Savant. He pairs that with a split-finger (32.8% of pitches), a sweeper (6.3%), and a curveball (3.6%). His run value from his fastball is within the 99th percentile of pitches this season.

For the first time this season, Imanaga was roughed up by the Brewers in his most recent start last Wednesday. He pitched just 4.1 innings (the second-fewest number of innings he's pitched this season), giving up eight hits, seven earned runs, two home runs and one walk. He incurred his first pitching loss of the season during this start.

Imanaga should bounce back against the White Sox, who undoubtedly own the league's worst offense. As of this writing, they slot last in runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage.

Flexen, on the other hand, has turned in a less-than-ideal season with the White Sox. He holds a 5.50 ERA, 1.41 WHIP and 2-5 pitching record. He's struck out 42 batters while walking 22.

Like Imanaga, Flexen predominantly throws fastballs, using his four-seamer 38.5% of the time. He pairs that more often with a cutter (25.5%), changeup (14%), curveball (12%) and slider (8.9%). He's used his sinker 10 times this season, too.

Game 2 provides a slightly more balanced matchup between Jameson Taillon and Erick Fedde.

Taillon holds an impressive 2.84 ERA and 1.26 WHIP this season through eight starts and 44.1 innings pitched. He's struck out just 29 batters, however, and walked 12. His pitching record stands at 3-2 this season.

He has relatively above-average run values attached to his pitches, except for his offspeed pitches, which rank near the bottom of MLB percentiles, via Baseball Savant. He starts with a four-seamer 36.7% of the time, followed by a cutter (23.7%), curveball (19.1%), sweeper (14.8%), sinker (4.2%) and changeup (1.4%).

As for Fedde, the 31-year-old has turned in a strong season thus far to prior seasons of his career. He holds a 3.12 ERA (25th in MLB) and 1.18 WHIP. Through 12 starts and 69.1 innings pitched, he's struck out 66 batters while walking just 22.

His cutter arguably does the most damage, along with his sweeper, both of which keep hitters to a .199 batting average together. He uses his sinker the most, pitching that 31.8% of throws this season. He's gotten away from his curveball this season, replacing it with his cutter and sweeper.

First pitch for Tuesday's game is slated for 7:05 p.m. (CT).

Click here to follow the Cubs Talk Podcast.

Click here to follow the White Sox Talk Podcast.

Contact Us