Kansas City Royals (75-78 SU, 73-80 RL, 72-75-6 O/U) vs. Chicago White Sox (62-91 SU, 82-71 RL, 72-75-6 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, September 24, 2017, Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois, 2:10 pm ET
Lines: Kansas City -110, Chicago +100; Over/Under: 9.5
It’s the finale of a weekend series between a pair of AL Central rivals with hopes of better days in the Windy City. The Kansas City Royals conclude a three game set against the Chicago White Sox Sunday afternoon. Chicago took a 7-6 win in the opening game of the series Friday night to draw first blood in the set. The pitching matchup for the middle game of the set Saturday saw Danny Duffy take the ball for the Royals against the White Sox’s Dylan Covey. First pitch in the contest was set for 7:10 pm ET.
Kansas City Royals Poised to Miss Postseason
Kansas City’s flickering playoff hopes took a devastating hit with the loss in the opening game of this series. The Royals dropped 4.5 games behind the Twins for the second wild card spot with nine games to play. Kansas City got three hits each from Melky Cabrera (run, RBI) and Whit Merrifield (run) in the contest. Lorenzo Cain (run) and Salvador Perez each added two hits for the Royals, who got all their runs in the third inning. Jason Hammel (8-13) took the loss as he was tagged for seven runs on eight hits with no walks and two strikeouts over 3.1 innings.
Ian Kennedy logs his 29th start of the year for the Royals looking to build on his recent strong stretch. He is 4-12 with a 5.39 ERA, a 1.323 WHIP, 58 walks and 117 strikeouts over 143.2 innings of work. Kennedy fell to 0-6 in his last nine starts after taking the loss in his last outing, which came Tuesday on the road against the Blue Jays. He allowed two runs on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts over five innings in a 5-2 Kansas City loss. Kennedy is 0-2 with a 4.61 ERA, a 1.17 WHIP, four walks and five strikeouts over 13.2 innings in his last three starts. He makes his ninth career start against the White Sox in this contest: he is 2-2 with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.366 WHIP over 44.2 innings in those contests. Kennedy is 2-1 with a 4.13 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP in four starts covering 24 innings at Guaranteed Rate Field in his career.
Chicago White Sox Continuing Rebuilding Project
Chicago set out with a full blown rebuild in mind for this season and they’ve done just that. Their young players are getting major league experience and some are paying immediate dividends. The White Sox climbed out of the cellar in the AL Central with Friday’s win and look to maintain that movement. Matt Davidson (run, three RBI), Omar Narvaez (two runs) and Jose Abreu each had two hits for the White Sox in the win. Reynaldo Lopez (3-3) picked up the win after going 6.1 innings and allowing six runs (two earned) on 10 hits with no walks or strikeouts. Juan Minaya worked around two hits in the ninth for his sixth save, helped by the ever popular 9-2-4-6 double play to end the game.
Lucas Giolito is expected to make his seventh start of the season for the White Sox in this contest. He is 2-3 with a 2.58 ERA and a 0.991 WHIP with 12 walks against 29 strikeouts in 38.1 innings this season at the major league level. Giolito took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the Astros. He allowed two runs on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts over 6.2 innings in a 3-2 Chicago defeat. Giolito is 0-2 with a 2.95 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP, eight walks and 11 strikeouts over 18.1 innings in his last three starts. He recorded a no-decision in his only career start against the Royals back on September 13, which came on the road. Giolito gave up one run on four hits with three walks and three strikeouts over 6.1 innings in a game the White Sox went on to win, 5-3. He is 2-2 with a 2.84 ERA and a 0.908 WHIP over 25.1 innings in four career starts at Guaranteed Rate Field.
- Royals are 1-6 in their last 7 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15
- Royals are 0-4 in their last 4 road games vs. a right-handed starter
- Royals are 0-4 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter
- White Sox are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 3 of a series
- White Sox are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- White Sox are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing record
The Royals have faint playoff hopes but losses to the White Sox in September have really hurt them: Kansas City is 1-3 against Chicago entering Saturday’s contest, which isn’t something to be excited about. The White Sox are a young team with plenty of talent to build around for the future. They’re getting some of those guys a chance to perform at the big league level now. Giolito has been impressive in his stint with the major league club and he dazzled the Royals in his first outing against them. Look for the White Sox to rally behind their rookie starter and pull out a victory here.