Indianapolis Star
Major League Baseball
Preview
Chi. White Sox at Minnesota
When: 3:10 PM ET, Sunday, September 30, 2018
Where: Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minnesota Twins took a step back this season after earning a wild card berth in 2017 and will sit out the playoffs, but heading into the offseason with some momentum is still a priority. The Twins will try to finish the regular season with a sixth consecutive victory when they host the Chicago White Sox in the finale on Sunday.

Minnesota is averaging 8.4 runs during its winning streak and is getting a strong finish from former MVP Joe Mauer, who is 12-for-29 with 10 runs scored in his last seven games. Mauer, who was the No. 1 overall pick in the 2001 draft by the Twins and spent his entire career in the organization, is coming to the end of an eight-year, $184 million contract - the largest in team history - and has yet to announce his plans for next season. Mauer potentially retiring or leaving would further accelerate the process of handing the team over to young players, a strategy the White Sox are using this season while going through some growing pains. Chicago's young hitters set a major league record for most strikeouts in a single season during Saturday's 8-3 loss and will go up against Minnesota's Zack Littell on Sunday while countering with fellow right-hander Dylan Covey.

TV: 3:10 p.m. ET, WGN (Chicago), FS North (Minnesota)

PITCHING MATCHUP: White Sox RH Dylan Covey (5-13, 5.06 ERA) vs. Twins RH Zack Littell (0-2, 6.61)

Covey is one of the players Chicago is hoping to build around and he is finishing the season strong with 12 scoreless innings in his last two starts. The 27-year-old went up against the American League Central-champion Cleveland Indians in both of those outings and scattered a total of eight hits while striking out 12. Covey last saw Minnesota in relief Aug. 21 and suffered the loss while allowing two runs on as many hits and three walks in 2 2/3 innings.

Littell is making the second start of his career after spending the last few weeks working out of the bullpen following a September callup. The 22-year-old rookie totaled three scoreless innings in his last two appearances, most recently tossing a scoreless frame against Detroit on Thursday. Littell made his major league debut in a home start against Chicago on June 5 and was knocked around for six runs on as many hits and four walks over three innings to suffer the loss.

WALK-OFFS

1. Twins rookie C Willians Astudillo recorded multiple hits in seven of his last 11 games.

2. Chicago SS Tim Anderson is hitless in his last four games, dropping his batting average to .240.

3. Minnesota SS Jorge Polanco is 11-for-27 over his last six games.

PREDICTION: White Sox 6, Twins 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Chi. White Sox 62-99 L4 30-51 32-48 16-16 30-45 10-24 6-14
Minnesota 77-84 W5 48-32 29-52 18-16 41-34 10-22 8-12
Last Meeting
Chi. White Sox Minnesota
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
9/29/18 CHW 3 MIN 8 .206 0 .528 .333 0 .877
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. White Sox T. Anderson .296 16 .856
Minnesota E. Rosario .246 16 .756
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. White Sox T. Anderson 3 10 9
Minnesota E. Rosario 3 10 12
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. White Sox 4.33 .239 135
Minnesota 3.43 .238 186
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Chi. White Sox J. Abreu .265 132 .798
Minnesota E. Rosario .288 161 .803
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Chi. White Sox D. Palka 27 55 67
Minnesota E. Rosario 24 87 77
Pitching ERA Avg K
Chi. White Sox 4.85 .241 1256
Minnesota 4.51 .250 1362