Baseball

Series Preview – Royals vs. White Sox: Back Down To The Floor

vs.

RECORDS: Royals 18-34   Whites Sox 23-29

GAMETIMES: Monday 1:10, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:10

TV: NBCSN Monday and Tuesday, WGN Wednesday

ARGUING ABOUT BBQ: Royals Review

PROBABLE PITCHERS

Homer Bailey vs. Ivan Nova

Brad Keller vs. Lucas Giolito

TBD vs. Reynaldo Lopez

PROBABLE ROYALS LINEUP

Nicky Lopez – 2B

Whit Merrifield – RF

Adalberto Mondesi – SS

Alex Gordon – LF

Hunter Dozier – 3B

Jorge Soler – DH

Ryan O’Hearn – 1B

Martin Maldonado – C

Billy Hamilton – CF

PROBABLE WHITE SOX LINEUP

Yoan Moncada – 3B

Eloy Jimenez – LF

Jose Abreu – 1B

Yonder Alonson – DH

James McCann – C

Charlie Tilson – RF

Jose Rondon – SS

Yolmer Sanchez – 2B

Ryan Cordell – CF

 

After spending the week on the road playing the cream of the crop the AL has to offer, and having the Twins get in up to the elbow, the Sox return home to go to the other side of the spectrum with a three-gamer against the Kansas City Royals, who have as many losses as the Marlins. And when you have anything that’s the same number as the Marlins, that’s a place you don’t want to be. But hey, they’re not the Orioles.

How did the Royals get here? Well, it’s not an offense as bas as you’d think one for a wooden spooner would be. They rank 9th or 10th in most offensive categories as a team, and through Dozier, Gordon, Soler, Merrifield, and Mondesi they can put up some runs on the odd night here and there. Hamilton and Maldonado are automatic outs though, when any of the Sox pitchers need a break. Soler and Mondesi are strikeout-prone, but the other three in the five mentioned are very patient and can make for a headache.

Scouring further down, the Royals rotation has actually bee slightly better than the Sox’s, in terms of ERA and FIP. Their problem is they walk more hitters than anyone other than the Rangers. The only bright spot has been Danny Duffy, whom the Sox will miss this go-around. Homer Bailey can’t get it over the plate and when he does it’s had a nasty habit of getting sent to far away places. Keller has had even bigger walk-problems, so if the Sox can be patient there’s gold in them thar hills.

Late in games, you’d want to avoid the triumvirate of Jason Diekman, Ian Kennedy, and Scott Barlow, who have very high K numbers and have generally been a pain in the ass. Everyone else has been gasoline, and with the Royals have a shrug emoji listed for Wednesday, the Sox might get to that gasoline.

For the Sox, Moncada slots up to the leadoff spot and Eloy to the 2nd spot, where you’d hope he’ll make his home for the next decade. Garcia and Anderson are nursing minor knocks but could show up at some point in the series, though not this afternoon. Either way for the Sox, it’ll be something of a relief to just no have to deal with a hell’s gauntlet of a lineup anymore.

 

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