Chicago White Sox (56-86 SU, 73-69 RL, 67-69-6 O/U) vs. Kansas City Royals (71-71 SU, 68-74 RL, 68-68-6 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. EST
The Line: Kansas City Royals -175/Chicago White Sox +157. Total: 9.
The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox will begin a three-game series when they square off at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City on Monday night. Chicago had been slumping until it recently pulled off back-to-back defeats of the Giants. The Royals are also coming off two straight wins.
The White Sox have won two straight following a five-game skid. They picked up a second consecutive victory in dominant fashion on Sunday, beating San Francisco 8-1 on Sunday following a 13-1 blowout less than 24 hours earlier. A third straight success may be tough to come by because Chicago is 1-5 in its last six against Kansas City (6-7 overall in the head-to-head matchup this season). The White Sox have homered in seven consecutive games, hitting 18 blasts during this stretch.
Right-hander Reynaldo Lopez (0-3, 4.84 ERA) is taking the mound for Chicago on Monday. Lopez is winless in four major-league outings this season but has posted quality starts on three occasions. The 23-year-old allowed just one run and six hits over six innings his last time out against Cleveland, but the White Sox scored only one run behind him for the second straight start. Lopez faced the Royals in his White Sox debut on Aug. 11 and gave up two runs and four hits over six innings in a no-decision.
Still in contention
The Royals hope a visit from the worst team in the American League will help them close the gap in the wild-card race. They are 2.5 games behind Minnesota for the second wild card as they begin a three-game home series against the last-place White Sox. Kansas City won its last two contests to earn a split of its four-game weekend set against the Twins. The Royals need to make a move, though, as they begin an 11-game road trip Thursday–starting with a four-game series at red-hot Cleveland.
Jason Hammel (8-10, 4.73 ERA) will oppose Lopez on Monday. The right-hander has won two straight starts and three of his last four. He continues to allow home runs at an alarming rate, however, surrendering nine in his last five starts–but he limited the damage to two runs over six innings to win at Detroit on Wednesday. The 35-year-old is 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 10 career games (three starts) against the White Sox and won the only meeting last year, which marked the first time he faced Chicago since 2013.
The Chicago White Sox are:
- 18-41 in their last 59 overall
- 13-39 in their last 52 road games
- 9-24 in its last 33 games against the American League Central
The Kansas City Royals are:
- 5-1 in their last six against teams with winning percentages under .400
- 5-1 in Hammel’s last six starts against the American League Cental
- 20-7 in their last 27 home games against the White Sox
The Royals have hit 173 home runs in 2017, surpassing the previous club mark of 168 set in 1987. Second baseman Whit Merrifield is 13-for-32 with seven RBIs during an eight-game hitting streak. Chicago is 18-41 in its last 59 overall, 13-39 in its last 52 on the road, 9-24 in its last 33 against the American League Central, 1-4 in its last five against right-handed starters, and 0-4 in its last four series openers. The Royals are 5-1 in their last six against opponents with winning percentages under .400, 44-21 in the last 65 meetings between the two teams, and 20-7 in their last 27 at home against the White Sox. Expect those trends to continue.