The Toronto Blue Jays will hope to put a tough series against the New York Yankees in the Bronx behind them, as they look to try and get a win against the struggling Chicago White Sox on Monday evening.
The Blue Jays have the difficult task of being in one of, if not the strongest Divisions in Major League Baseball. The American League East is tough, with four legitimate teams all going for the Divisional title at the start of the season.
The past two years, the Tampa Bay Rays have won the AL East title with one of the poorest budgets in MLB.
The Yankees this year appear to be the strongest side and are currently running away with the division and at the time of writing have just won nine straight matches, including the last two against the Blue Jays.
However, the Blue Jays will be contenders for a Wild Card place and are currently leading the race to be in the post-season, despite having lost their last three games.
The Chicago White Sox have had an up and down season, exacerbated by injuries to key stars such as Tim Anderson and have had to deal with issues not going their way, with manager Tony La Russa making calls which some perceived to be questionable.
Despite being under .500 in the American League Central, the Southsiders had a pulsating victory over the Houston Astros, and Justin Verlandder to boot, on Saturday night, winning 7-0 at Minute Maid Park. Luis Robert hit four RBI’s and Johnny Cueto, where he struck out five.
What: Toronto Blue Jays versus Chicago White Sox, Game 1 of 3
Where: Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago
When: 01.10 BST, Tuesday 21st June 2022
How to watch: MLB.TV
The White Sox have had more injuries than most they would say. Key injuries as well, to star players such as, shortstop Tim Anderson, catcher Yasmani Grandal, left fielder Eloy Jimenez and third baseman Yoan Moncada.
They were all missing from the second game of the series versus Houston.
Moncada was the only new injury of the group when he picked up a right hamstring injury on Friday night in the 13-3 loss to the Astros.
Speaking to MLB.com about the White Sox victory on Saturday night, manager La Russa couldn't be more proud of his team: "I'm telling you, it's a very resilient, tough-minded, tough-heart, tough guts club. The way we have hung in there, that's why they have my total respect and admiration.
"You start talking about what's an example? Today. They put that game (on Friday) behind us. (The score) was just 3-3 and boom, we are out of it. It's ugly. So we got what it takes and now we have to score more runs than the other club enough times to get into contention."
Key starter Alek Manoah lost for the first time at home on Saturday in a 4-0 loss to AL East leaders, New York Yankees.
The 24-year-old entered the day 10-0 at home in the Rogers Centre and has been talked about in All-Star and Cy Young award circles.
The Blue Jays believed the strike zone wasn't in their favour against the red-hot Yankees, which saw manager Charlie Montoyo thrown out of the game.
Speaking to the official Blue Jays website, Montoyo argued about the fourth inning where Manoah threw 33 pitches: "Honestly a lot of calls didn't go his (Manoah's) way today.
"He had to battle a little harder this time. That's how it goes in baseball, but I can say some calls didn't go his way. He had to battle extra that inning, for sure."
Chicago will put Lance Lynn on the mound for Monday evening's game, while the Blue Jays haven’t officially announced who will start for them.
With Hyun Jin Ryu on the 15-day injured list and Yusei Kikuchi pitching on Sunday, it may be either Kevin Gausman or Jose Berrios on short rest to pitch.
Montoyo may not take the risk and send in some relief pitchers to play a bullpen game, which seems the more likely scenario.
The Blue Jays will have to battle to win this, buthave the overall ability to edge this game at Guaranteed Rate Field.