Why the White Sox can't beat the Royals

A lot of focus has been paid to The Royals three kings on the mound (Mendoza, Chen, Guthrie) being primarily responsible for their success vs. the White Sox this season. While their starting pitching has been better than average, the main reason the White Sox have struggled is the inability of the pitchers to keep the ball in the park against the Royals.

White Sox pitching thus far has been better than the A.L. average by allowing just 4.3 per games. This is in spite of allowing the fourth most homers in the A.L. (163). As it has been documented, The Cell has been known to be homer friendly and the White Sox have hit 103 at home (third most in the A.L.) while giving up 92 long balls (tied for the most in the A.L. with the Blue Jays).

The Royals on the other hand are not that good at hitting. They average close to 4.5 runs per game which is near the bottom of the AL. Yet, In eight of their thirteen games with the Sox they have scored five or more runs. Overall they average 4.8 runs per game against the White Sox which is far better than the three runs per game the Rangers have managed against the Sox over nine games. The Royals have only hit 113 homers this year but 17 have come against the White Sox! 15% of the Royals homers have come in 10% of their games against the Sox. Or in other words they average 0.88 homers per game against all competition, but somehow have managed 1.3 per game against the White Sox. Going even one step deeper and looking at the Royals responsible for this:

Player Total Homers Homers:AB Homers vs. WS Homers:AB vs. WS
A.Escobar 4 1:130 2 1:24
S. Perez 9 1:23 2 1:16
B. Butler 25 1:21 3 1:16
L. Cain 7 1:28 3 1:12
Moustakas 19 1:26 3 1:12
Francoeur 12 1:40 3 1:17

Note: All stats are through September 7, 2012

So basically we are turning a bad offense into a Yankee like offense. The Sox pitchers are turning unproductive hitters into very productive hitters (Francoeur I'm pointing my finger directly at you). Billy Butler's three homers against Sale have allowed the Royals to stay in games against one of the best pitchers in the league this year.

It was somewhat similar last year for the Royals as they hit 17 of their 129 total homers against the Sox. At some point the White Sox have to find a different way to pitch these Royals hitters. For a team that for the most part struggles to score runs they have been able to compete against the White Sox by knocking the ball out of the park. Something they don't do so well against the other teams in the league.

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