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Six Pack of Stats: White Sox 4, Royals 3

Big hits by Yoan Moncada and Welington Castillo set the graph moving in Chicago’s direction

Beef! As you might imagine, the big change came courtesy of Welington Castillo — his double swung the win expectancy 43.4%, and into Chicago’s favor for the first time in seven innings.
Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to

Pressure Play (highest-leverage situation): 6.76

Whit Merrifield’s fly out to Adam Engel to end the game with the tying run on second was the biggest pressure at-bat of the contest. White Sox 4, Royals 3

Pressure Cooker (highest total leverage faced in the game): 4.87

White Sox closer-for-the-night Joakim Soria earned the save in his old home park, under the bright lights of an intense ninth. Despite a single, a passed ball and a walk, Soria did not cave in and preserved a huge win.

Put it on the Board (greatest win probability added, single play): .434

Welington Castillo’s eighth-inning double over the head of right fielder John Jay, plating Jose Abreu and Tyler Saladino and giving the White Sox their first lead in seven innings, was the big blow. White Sox 4, Royals 3

Game MVP (greatest win probability added, game): 0.33

Until the eighth inning, Castillo was having a lousy game: two Ks, remaining hitless for the season. But that two-RBI double for the eventual game-winner made the catcher tonight’s MVP in a squeaker.

Chicago’s Start: 52

Lucas Giolito, in a different way but to nearly the same effect as Opening Day starter James Shields, gutted out six innings in less-than-ideal circumstances (bitter cold, no bite on his breaking ball). The righthander threw 89 pitches, and just 49 for strikes. Giolito’s four hits, four walks, three earned runs and one K land him at an above-average 52 game score.

Kansas City’s Start: 66

It looked ugly out of the gate for Ian Kennedy, but after wriggling out of the first with just one run inflicted, the righty settled down for five more, much quieter innings. Kennedy ended up tossing 105 pitches, 73 for strikes. All told, he gave up four hits, two walks and an earned run and pocketed five strikeouts en route to a 66 game score.