Fresh off a series victory against the American League Central-leading Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox welcome a team that resides near the bottom of the division standings.
The Detroit Tigers enter their Tuesday game at Chicago's Guaranteed Rate Field with losses in nine of their past 10 games. Chicago, meanwhile, is beaming after taking two of three from the Twins to open a nine-game homestand.
The White Sox reached 39 victories for the season with 4-3 win Sunday in the series finale. In 2018, the club didn't achieve that win total until Aug. 3.
"That speaks good about us," Chicago first baseman/designated hitter Jose Abreu said. "That's because we are improving, we are getting better and we're very, very close to being a good team, and a team that can be in the playoffs and to be considered one of the teams to win a championship."
Abreu was one of three White Sox to earn a spot on the American League All-Star team Sunday, joining catcher James McCann and right-hander Lucas Giolito.
Sitting at three games under .500, Chicago again is approaching the break-even mark and will look to continue its climb against Detroit. The confidence in the clubhouse continued to grow considering the results against the Twins, who rolled to a series sweep when the teams met in May.
"Like we've preached since Day 1 of spring training, this is a good ballclub," McCann said. "We're close to contention. We're headed into July and we're right there in the wild-card picture. It's just a matter of coming together as a team and continuing this growth as a team.
"It's a good sign to see not just the individual successes and honors that we saw (Sunday), but the team success and the team doing what we set out to do."
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (4-7, 6.12 ERA) is set to get the call for the White Sox. Lopez is 1-1 with a 1.50 ERA in two starts against the Tigers this season with 22 strikeouts in 12 innings. For his career, he's 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA in nine starts against Detroit.
Lopez's opponent, Tigers ace Matthew Boyd (5-6, 3.72 ERA), has allowed 10 home runs in his past five starts after yielding seven homers in his first 12 starts.
In his most recent outing, against the Texas Rangers on Wednesday, Boyd allowed a trio of solo home runs in the fifth inning. The Rangers scuffled otherwise, striking out 12 times, but managed to square up Boyd's slider, a pitch with which he otherwise has been effective in 2019.
"I punched three guys out with it, too," Boyd said. "Maybe more than that. If those are fly balls, you guys really aren't saying anything about that."
Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said Boyd still could take plenty of positives from the game.
"I'm just going to forget about the rest of the (recent) starts," Gardenhire said. "This was a good start. Just got some balls up against a team that hits the ball in the seats."
Boyd is 2-5 with a 4.30 ERA in 11 career starts against the White Sox, including 0-1 with a 3.00 ERA in one start this season.
--Field Level Media