Chicago White Sox: Los Angeles Angels Present Dangerous Late-Season Obstacle

Jon FromiSenior Analyst ISeptember 21, 2012

The White Sox hope to fare better in Anaheim after dropping two of three games to Kansas City.
The White Sox hope to fare better in Anaheim after dropping two of three games to Kansas City.Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Chicago White Sox are venturing out to the West Coast for yet another huge series that will factor into the American League Central Division title. The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim helped the White Sox build a lead two weeks ago. They could erase that lead this weekend.

While Detroit hosts the Twins, the White Sox are on the road for a three-game weekend set. Chicago leads the AL Central by two games over the Tigers and has a magic number of 12 entering play Friday.

The Angels swept Detroit at Angel Stadium and need to do the same to the White Sox if they are to keep their own playoff hopes alive. Chicago needs to avoid the business end of the broom because it may not get much help from Minnesota.

Since their sweep of the Tigers, the Angels have gone 4-6 over their last 10 contests. Los Angeles dropped two of three against Texas this week.

Chicago comes off of yet another disappointing series in Kansas City in which it also lost two of three. Paul Konerko sat out Thursday night's 4-3 loss with a back issue, though it is not thought to be serious, and the captain could be back in the lineup Friday in the series opener.

Konerko's injury will be something to keep an eye on. Hopefully it doesn't keep him out as long as Adam Dunn's oblique injury prevented him from swinging a bat.

Jake Peavy takes the ball in Friday's series opener, opposing Ervin Santana. Santana is returning to the rotation after being struck on the forearm by a line drive in his September 12 start against Oakland. Peavy went six innings last Sunday in Minnesota to even his record at 11-11 in 2012.

Saturday, Jose Quintana will try to get back in the groove against Dan Haren. Quintana has faded down the stretch with the exception of an impressive outing against the Tigers on September 10. He lasted just four innings in a rematch with Detroit on September 17, allowing four runs as the White Sox pulled out a huge 5-4 victory.

Sunday's matinee features Gavin Floyd for the White Sox and Jered Weaver for Los Angeles. Weaver has dominated Chicago bats over his career. The right-hander owns a 6-2 mark over the White Sox and a 1.61 ERA in nine starts.

Some timely hitting, especially against the stingy Weaver, is badly needed by the White Sox. Chicago is 3-2 this season against the Angels and split a two-game series in Anaheim back in May. Dropping three games this weekend is not advisable with the Tigers so close behind.