#918 Kansas City Royalsvs.#917 Chicago White Sox
Written by Chris Kubala
Chicago White Sox (57-87 SU, 75-69 RL, 68-70-5 O/U) vs. Kansas City Royals (72-72 SU, 68-76 RL, 69-69-6 O/U)
MLB: Wednesday, September 13, 2017, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri, 2:15 pm ET
Lines: Kansas City -145, Chicago +135; Over/Under: 10
It’s the conclusion of an early week series between AL Central rivals in the Midwest. The Chicago White Sox play the finale of a three game set with the Kansas City Royals Wednesday afternoon. The teams split the first two games of the set: Chicago took an 11-3 win in the opener Monday night while the Royals squared the set with a 4-3 win Tuesday afternoon. Which team wins the rubber game and takes the series?
Chicago had their three game win streak snapped with the loss Tuesday afternoon. The White Sox look to try and continue playing spoiler as they are the worst team in the American League. Chicago outhit the Royals 13-4 and kept them off the scoreboard over the final eight innings but couldn’t get the win. Tim Anderson (RBI), Rob Brantly (RBI), Nicky Delmonico (two runs) and Yolmer Sanchez (RBI) each had two hits for the White Sox. Dylan Covey (0-5) settled down after a rough first but took the loss: he allowed four runs on two hits with four walks and one strikeout over 5.2 innings.
Lucas Giolito is expected to make his fifth start of the season for the White Sox in this contest. He is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA and a 0.908 WHIP with eight walks against 23 strikeouts in 25.1 innings this season at the major league level. Giolito took the loss in his last start, which came Friday at home against the Giants. He allowed five runs (three earned) on three hits with four walks and five strikeouts over 5.1 innings in a 9-2 Chicago defeat. Giolito is 2-1 with a 1.86 ERA, a 0.88 WHIP, eight walks and 19 strikeouts over 19.1 innings in his last three starts. In his 11th major league appearance and ninth career start, Giolito faces the Royals and pitches at Kauffman Stadium for the first time. Giolito was 6-10 with a 4.62 ERA, a 1.407 WHIP, 59 walks and 134 strikeouts over 24 starts covering 128.2 innings for Triple-A Charlotte of the International League.
Kansas City jumped out with four runs in the first and made that stand up to get the win to square the series. The Royals entered Tuesday night 2.5 games behind the Twins for the second wild card spot in the American League. Brandon Moss (run, four RBI) had two of Kansas City’s four hits: his 21st homer of the season, a grand slam, accounted for the Royals offense. Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar each had a double for Kansas City. Sam Gaviglio (4-5) picked up the win as he threw five innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Scott Alexander pitched the ninth inning for his fourth save.
The Royals are expected to send Eric Skoglund to the mound for his sixth career appearance and fifth start in this contest. He is 1-2 with a 10.29 ERA, a 2.357 WHIP, 10 walks and 11 strikeouts over 14 innings this season. Skoglund recorded a no-decision in his last appearance, which came in relief against the Twins on the road September 2. He threw three innings, allowing three runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts in a game the Royals eventually lost 17-0. Skoglund makes his first career appearance or start against the White Sox in this contest. He is 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP over 8.1 innings in his two career starts at Kauffman Stadium. Skoglund is 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA, a 1.381 WHIP, 29 walks and 102 strikeouts over 100.1 innings in 19 starts with Triple-A Omaha this season.
The Royals are the team with postseason aspirations but they haven’t been very good of late. Kansas City is still in striking distance for the second wild card spot in the American League but they have to come up with some wins. Skoglund has pitched dismally at the big league level this season. On the flip side, the White Sox had won three straight before falling Tuesday. Giolito has been good in his four big league starts and should be good again here. Look for the White Sox to come up with the win in this contest.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.