Baseball

Series Preview – Royals At White Sox: Twirling Towards Freedom

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RECORDS: Royals 53-91  White Sox 63-80

GAMETIMES: Tues/Wed 7:10, Thursday 1:10

TV: Tues/Wed NBCSN, Thursday WGN

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Talk about your must see TV. A mid September battle between two of the AL’s worst should pull in the viewers, right? Coming into this series, the Royals are on somewhat of a roll, having won their last 3 series in a row. Granted those 3 series were against the Orioles, Tigers, and Marlins, so it’s not like they’ve exactly been slaying the dragons. The Sox actually present their stiffest challenge since losing 3 of 4 to the A’s at the end of last month. One of those losses to Oakland involved the Royals giving up 19 runs, which leads into their biggest issue right now, which is run prevention.

The Royals have languished at the bottom third of the league in pitching since the All-Star break giving up an average of 5.2 runs per game. In comparison, the Sox have rocketed to the top third on the wings of Lucas Giolito and a revitalized Reynaldo Lopez, averaging 4.8 runs a game. The only decent starters in the back half of the season for the Royals have been Jake Junis and Brad Keller, each worth 1 WAR a piece. Unfortunately for Royals fans, the team has shut Keller down as he’s reached his career high in innings pitched with 165, which is 20 innings more than he pitched in 2018. The Sox will see Junis, Jorge Lopez, and moon-faced yahoo Glenn Sparkman, who as you’ll recall plunked Tim Anderson in the dome last time the two teams met and was summarily ejected.

Offensively the Royals are 25th in the league in hitting, a whopping 1 position higher than the White Sox. Jorge Soler quite possibly may have finally reached the potential he always flashed in his time with the Cubs. He’s sitting on 41 home runs thus far, with 102 RBIs which is extra impressive considering he’s only had Hunter Dozier and Whit Merrifield to knock in, as everyone else is lost in the dugout tunnel. Merrifield in particular is having another standard year for himself, getting on base at his usual prodigious clip (.364). Hunter Dozier is also having a breakout year, worth 3.4 WAR so far.

For the White Sox, they’ll send out the best of their starters with Nova, Lopez and Giolito scheduled to take the bump. Hopefully all three will get the offensive support that the Sox flashed in their weekend series against the Angels. Tim Anderson continues his quest for the AL batting title, and this is the perfect pitching staff for him to do that with. Ricky Renteria has talked about putting Moncada back in the leadoff spot, which, whatever. He can definitely get on base, but I’d rather have someone else there as Yoan is more valuable knocking in the runs. I’m curious as to which Eloy Jimenez we’ll get this season, as the one that showed against the Angels was not optimal, but the one against the Indians was cash money.

This is the final meeting of the season between these two teams, and with the Sox holding a 2 game edge all they have to do is win one for the season series. While winning the bare minimum has been the Sox modus operandi thus far I say fuck that, take all 3 and drive home the point that having fun in baseball is not a bad thing and Tim Anderson has more personality then your whole fucking city. Except for maybe Patrick Mahomes.  He’s cool.

 

 

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