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4:40 PM PT5:40 PM MT6:40 PM CT7:40 PM ET19:40 ET23:40 GMT7:40 4:40 PM MST6:40 PM EST7:10 PM VEN3:40 UAE (+1)6:40 PM CT, September 27, 2019
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois

Anderson in batting title lead as White Sox host Tigers

Friday's doubleheader between the host Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers offers at least one measure of intrigue beyond the usual late-season twin bill between non-contending clubs.

White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson enters play with an American League-best .338 batting average, 10 points higher than his nearest pursuer, infielder DJ LeMahieu of the New York Yankees.

A .240 hitter in 2018, Anderson is aiming to become the first White Sox player to earn a batting title since Frank Thomas accomplished the feat in 1997. Anderson's mark also leads the majors, and includes a .389 average in September.

"Just seeing where I was a couple of years ago to where I am now, I put the work in, and it's showing," Anderson said.

His teammates certainly agree.

"I've been playing for what, 12, 13 years now, and the guy's hitting (near) .340 this late in the season. You never see that," Chicago left-hander Ross Detwiler said. "It's amazing. Every night he's got multiple hits. You know offensively we're going to be in it just about every night, and he's the catalyst for our team."

Chicago (70-88) is set to start veteran right-hander Ivan Nova (11-12, 4.80 ERA) in the opener. Making his 34th start of the season, Nova is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA in three starts against the Tigers in 2019, and 2-3 with a 4.86 ERA over 11 career appearances, including 10 starts.

Rookie lefty Tyler Alexander (1-4, 4.99 ERA) gets the call for the Tigers at Guaranteed Rate Field, the site of his July 3 major league debut. Alexander is 0-2 with a 5.93 ERA in three starts against the White Sox this season, allowing nine earned runs in 13 2/3 innings.

Detroit (46-112) is guaranteed to be the third club in franchise history to finish with the worst record in the majors, but won't be the most futile of that bunch, a distinction that belongs to the 2003 team, which lost 119 games.

"I know that there's a race for the first pick in the (2020) draft. We don't really try to do that," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "I know some of our fans are thinking this is great, but we're just trying to go out and play. And these guys are, you know, trying to get through this thing."

The Game 2 pitching matchup, a makeup of a July 2 contest postponed due to weather, had not been set. The Tigers come to Chicago after being swept in 10 of 25 home series this season.

"This year, after all the injuries coming out of spring training, you knew it was going to be a battle, and it has been, for our pitching staff, the whole year," Gardenhire said.

"We've been trying to find able bodies. We've used a lot of people. And a lot of kids are up in the big leagues right now getting an opportunity, which, that's what rebuilds are. We're seeing a lot of young guys, and sometimes, you know, if I had hair, I probably wouldn't have hair by the end of this season," Gardenhire said.

"But I've never had hair this season, so it's OK. I'm just rubbing my head, trying to help."

--Field Level Media

Updated September 27, 2019

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