Kansas City will be looking to bounce back from a series-opening loss when it faces Chicago for game two of a three-game set on Saturday afternoon. The Royals were shut out in a 6-0 final on Thursday before the teams had a day off on Friday. Chicago has won three of its last four games after a rough start to the season.
Royals offense struggling of lateKansas City opened the season with a bang, scoring 25 combined runs in a pair of wins over Texas in its opening series. The Royals lost the finale in a 7-3 decision, but they bounced back with a 3-0 win at Cleveland on Monday. The Indians split the two-game series with a 4-2 win on Wednesday and the White Sox shut out the Royals in a 6-0 final on Thursday. Kansas City has only mustered eight combined runs in its last four games after putting up big numbers in the first two contests. The Royals are still No. 12 in the MLB in team batting average (.251) due to those games, though.
FINAL: White Sox 6, #Royals 0— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 9, 2021
They will be facing a Chicago pitching staff that comes into Saturday’s game with a team ERA of 3.95, ranking No. 15 in the MLB. Kansas City’s offense is led by center fielder Michael Taylor and right fielder Whit Merrifield, who both have nine hits on the season. They have combined for five of the team’s eight homers, with catcher Salvador Perez accounted for two of the other three. Left-handed pitcher Mike Minor will make the start for the Royals in this game. He went six innings in his season debut against the Rangers, but he allowed four runs on four hits. Minor struck out six and walked two—he comes into this start on a full week of rest.
White Sox without several key startersChicago opened the season by dropping three of its four games in Los Angeles against the Angels. The White Sox blew leads in two of those losses. They bounced back by taking two out of three against Seattle earlier this week, including a 6-0 win and a 10-4 win. Their first game of the series against Kansas City also resulted in a 6-0 final score. Starting pitcher Lance Lynn pitched a complete-game shutout, marking the first one in the MLB this season. He only allowed five hits in what was a rainy game on Thursday. Chicago’s offense was led by homers from Yoan Moncada and Yermin Mercedes.
Getting the job done. ✅ pic.twitter.com/Wbq5XQLX8Y— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) April 9, 2021
The White Sox come into Saturday’s bout with the eighth-best batting average in baseball at .255. They are going to face a Kansas City pitching staff that is No. 22 in team ERA (5.02). Chicago is currently without shortstop Tim Anderson (hamstring), center fielder Adam Engel (hamstring) and left fielder Eloy Jimenez (pectoral). Right-handed pitcher Dylan Cease will take the mound for the White Sox to open this game. He threw gave up two runs in a 30-pitch first inning against the Angels, but he settled down to throw 4.2 innings in a no-decision. Cease allowed three runs while walking three and striking out three.
- 6-0 in its last six home games vs. a left-handed starter
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
Outside of two games against what could end up being the worst pitching staff in baseball this season (Texas), Kansas City has not done much on offense. The Royals have averaged just two runs per game over their last four, which has not put them in winning positions. Chicago does have some key injuries in its lineup right now, though, so this is a semi-difficult game to pick. The White Sox are still the much better team even without Jimenez and co. in the lineup, so they are the pick to win this game by multiple runs.
Full-Game Total Pick
Cease was able to settle in after having to face one of the most dangerous lineups in the MLB in the Angels when he made his first start of the season. He will have a much easier time on Saturday afternoon when he faces a lineup that has not done much outside of its first two games. Kansas City has now gone under the betting total in five straight road games and it has gone under in its last four road games against a right-handed starter. The White Sox are missing some key players in the lineup, which I do not believe is properly accounted for in the total.