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Gamethread: White Sox at Royals

Your 2019 All-Star is back on the mound, as Lucas Giolito looks to right the ship after an embarrassing weekend of baseball

2019 MLB All-Star Game, presented by Mastercard
Super star: Lucas Giolito is making his first start of the second-half of the season after appearing in the All-Star Game.
Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images

It’s Lucas Giolito Day, and boy do the White Sox really need one. After the Sox were swept right out of the gate after the All-Star break, Giolito and a date with the Kansas City Royals will hopefully put the club back on track. Though pitching was not the whole problem in Oakland — Ivan Nova went six innings and allowed four runs on Friday while Reynaldo Lopez threw six innings and did not allow an earned run yesterday — the offense only scored five total runs in three games over the weekend.

The Sox are 9-4 against the Royals so far this year, as Kansas City is just a pitiful 32-62 coming into tonight’s game. On top of that, Giolito has been pretty good against the Royals and Royals hitters over his career. Kansas City hitters are slashing .152/.234/.290 over 138 at-bats against him. That is for a tOPS+ of 47, his second-best mark against opponents (go figure, the Tampa Bay Rays are his best tOPS+ opponent, at 24, but in eight fewer games). But there has been a downside to how Giolito has pitched of late. He has not had a quality start since June 14 against the New York Yankees, though he did fire five shutout innings against the Twins June 30. He has also allowed six runs in two starts his last four times out, both against that team on the north side.

Meanwhile, Jakob Junis will be on the bump for the Royals and he, well, has not done as well against the Sox. Sox batters are slashing .284/.348/.494, and a couple of hitters really have Junis’ number, in particular, Yoán Moncada. He has two bombs off of Junis and a 1.491 OPS against him in 14 at-bats. Sure, small sample, but that OPS is still very fun. Junis currently has a 5.33 ERA with a 1.45 WHIP, so it is a prime opportunity for the Sox bats to return from their extended break.


Double WGN action, at 7:15 p.m. CT.