Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#3973 Kansas City Royals vs.
#3974 Chicago White Sox
Wednesday, August 4, 2021 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Kansas City Royals will head on the road to Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday evening for the second game of their American League Central battle versus the Chicago White Sox.

Kansas City was swept by the Toronto Blue Jays over the weekend and fell to 45-59 after dropping three straight games. Meanwhile, the White Sox are holding on to a comfortable nine-game advantage over the Cleveland Indians in the AL Central race after improving to 62-44.

Can the White Sox take down Kansas City at home in Chicago on Wednesday?

Hernandez fanning hitters at elite rate

Kansas City is scheduled to hand the ball to emerging right-hander Carlos Hernandez, who has flashed some potential since joining the big league rotation. Last time out, the 24-year-old turned in six shutout innings in a win over the division-leading White Sox. In 15 games (three starts), Hernandez 2-1 with a 4.98 ERA. However, the righty has struggled on the road, posting a 6.55 ERA in six road contests.

Prior to this year, Hernandez had never pitched over Single-A ball in the minor leagues. Yet, the Royals’ right-hander has already developed a reputation for striking out big league batters at a high rate. Entering just his fourth MLB starter, he comes in with an 11.01 K/9 strikeout rate and is averaging a healthy 97.7 mph on his fastball. However, Hernandez will have to rein in his command. He’s walked 5.77 batters per nine innings of work in 34 ⅓ MLB innings.

He is 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in two games (one start) versus Chicago this season.

Giolito seeks fourth straight quality start vs. Royals

Chicago is expected to counter with right-hander Lucas Giolito on Wednesday afternoon. The 27-year-old is 8-7 with a 3.67 ERA in 21 starts this season and he’s fresh off of his third consecutive quality outing. In his previous trip to the mound, the White Sox right-hander spun six innings of one-run ball in a no-decision versus the Royals. Over his last three starts, Giolito has allowed three combined runs in 21 innings of work (1.29 ERA).

Once a top prospect, Giolito has put it all together on the mound over the last few seasons. He comes into Wednesday’s start striking out 10.30 batters and walking just 2.80 batters per nine innings of work. He’s also induced swinging strikes 15.1 percent of the time in 2021, the second-highest rate of his career.

Giolito has made 16 career starts against the Royals, going 8-3 with a stellar 3.02 ERA in those matchups. He is 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA in three starts versus Kansas City this season. Per Baseball Savant, the White Sox right-hander has limited the current Royals’ roster to a paltry .200 batting average in 193 plate appearances heading into Wednesday’s contest.

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Not only does Giolito have strong career numbers against the Royals but he has also been much better at home (3.14 ERA) compared to on the road (4.27 ERA) this season. The White Sox right-hander got the short end of the stick after turning in six innings of one-run ball in his last start against Kansas City.  Take Chicago to cover the run line at home against the Royals on Wednesday night. 

Prediction: Chicago White Sox -1.5

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Both of these starters are fresh off of quality outings against the opposition. Hernandez has held his own since rejoining the rotation, allowing two runs or fewer in two of his last three appearances. Meanwhile, Giolito has posted a 1.29 ERA over his last three starts and he’s allowed three earned runs or fewer in eight of his previous nine outings. The White Sox right-hander has also been tough on the current Royals’ roster, limiting them to a .200 batting average ahead of Wednesday’s contest. Look for this game to stay under the projected total at Guaranteed Rate Field on Wednesday night.

Prediction: Under 8.5
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Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. And has now joined our team here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.