Flaherty: Five things to watch against White Sox

05/22/2014 12:18 PM ET
By staff

Chicago starter Chris Sale returns from the disabled list to start the opener against the Yankees.(AP)
After splitting a pair against the Cubs at Wrigley Field to start the week, the Yankees will stay in Chicago for a four-game set against the White Sox this weekend, beginning with Thursday night's opener. Coverage begins at 7:30 p.m. on YES.

To get a sense of what the Yankees can expect at U.S. Cellular Field, caught up with our very own John Flaherty to break down the five keys to the series: 

Can the Yankees slow down the White Sox's offense?

The White Sox can hit! They are second in the American League in home runs and second in the league in runs scored. Jose Abreu, who leads the team with 15 home runs, will miss the series (placed on the DL with tendinitis in his left ankle), which will help the Yankees. How will this young Yankees rotation handle this challenge?  

Yankees must take advantage of White Sox pitching

The White Sox pitching is brutal. Chicago is last in the league in ERA, last in the league in runs allowed and last in the league in walks issued. Staff ace Chris Sale is back on Thursday but Ellsbury could break out of his slump against the rest of this overmatched rotation.

How much will the White Sox miss Jose Abreu?

Good news for the Yankees: Abreu will miss this series! Bad news for baseball fans: Abreu will miss this series! He has 15 home runs already, and I am disappointed that I will not be able to see him live.

Expect Masahiro Tanaka to rebound

Tanaka lost his first start in forever on Tuesday (Tuesday's loss was his first since August, 2012). How will he rebound on Sunday against this good lineup? I expect him to rebound in a big way! 

Will the long weekend affect the Yankees?

How will this Yankees team play over the holiday weekend? A major league team spending a FULL week in the same hotel on the road is highly unusual. Chicago is a fun town and there will be four day games on this leg of the road trip, making Sunday's finale a test for this club.  

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