MLB LOOK AHEAD

Yankees try for sweep of White Sox

The Sports Xchange

August 08, 2018 at 1:17 am.

Luis Severino (40) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first at Yankee Stadium. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Luis Severino (40) pitches against the Houston Astros during the first at Yankee Stadium. Photo Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino will try to get back on track when he takes the mound against the Chicago White Sox on Wednesday in the series finale at Guaranteed Rate Field.

Severino, 24, threw a season-high 115 pitches his last time out against the Boston Red Sox on Friday. However, the quantity did not lead to quality as he dropped his third start in a row.

New York (70-42) is hoping its hard-throwing hurler snaps out of his funk quickly as the team looks to keep firm footing in the American League wild-card race. The Yankees are going for a three-game sweep of Chicago after losing their previous five games.

Meanwhile, Chicago (41-72) will try to salvage a game in the series. The White Sox are 8-10 since the break.

Severino (14-5, 3.08 ERA) has an opportunity to set a single-season high in victories Wednesday. He went 14-6 with a 2.98 ERA last season and boasts solid career numbers of 36-22 with a 3.43 ERA.

His recent slump runs counter to his career success.

In his past four outings, Severino is 0-3 with a 9.00 ERA. He has surrendered 20 earned runs in 20 innings, plus an eye-popping 35 hits, six of which have gone over the fence.

Why the trouble?

“A lot of it has to do with the fastball command, I think that’s been the No. 1 thing,” Yankees pitching coach Larry Rothschild said to Newsday. “He’s got more weapons in his bag right now than he had (during his last prolonged slump in 2016). The slider’s much better and the changeup’s better. So I think it’s a lot different.”

Severino is 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA in four career starts against Chicago.

The White Sox will counter with right-hander Lucas Giolito (7-8, 5.97 ERA), who has pitched much better recently after a difficult start to the season. The 24-year-old has five quality starts in his past seven outings, and his ERA has fallen by more than a run since June 22.

Giolito has not faced the Yankees in his career. He is 3-4 with a 7.76 ERA in 11 starts at home this season, compared with 4-4, 4.54 in 11 turns on the road.

“I can’t go back and change some of my poor outings earlier this year,” Giolito told the Chicago Sun-Times. “All I can do is learn from those and try to give it my best these last 10 or whatever I might have.

“So, at the end of the year, my baseball card stats are a little messed up from the early part of the season. But I mean, it’s all in the past. All I can do is control what I do each day to improve and hopefully do a really good job in my starts.”

Yankees sluggers Miguel Andujar and Giancarlo Stanton will look to maintain their power bats after homering Tuesday night. Andujar has 15 homers on the season, while Stanton has 26 this year and 293 during his career.

White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu also is hoping to build upon a strong performance Tuesday in which he clubbed his 20th home run of the season. Abreu became the 18th player in big league history to hit at least 20 homers in each of his first five seasons.