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Know Your Enemy: Kansas City Royals

Rolling into Kansas City to play the Royals for the 45th time of the season

The Duchess Of Cornwall Supports The Prince’s Trust’s “Brilliant Breakfast” Initiative Photo by Eddie Mulholland - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The White Sox are heading south to face the Triple-A team known as the Kansas City Royals. Lead by baseball super genius Mike Matheny, the third place Royals are limping to the end of the season and aren’t even on the board for the Wild Card race.

So let’s get to it.

Last time

The last series started off good with the White Sox taking the first game 7-1 and Dylan Cease allowing one hit in six scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and 103 pitches. Home runs from Tim Anderson and Andrew Vaughn helped lead the charge against the Royals who we all remember were momentarily in first in April.

It was hard to find the first place White Sox in the next game when they dropped 9-1 to the Royals, who ended a four-game losing streak. Lucas Giolito gave up three home runs in four innings, one short of his career worst start against Minnesota in July of 2019. The next night was a bit closer of a loss (3-2) for the White Sox but a misplayed line drive lead to a two-run double the sapped any potential momentum they could have had. Dallas Keuchel was struggling on the mound but some highlights were Eloy Jimenez snapping a 0-for-13 streak and Jose Abreu hitting his second home run in two games, reaching 20 home runs for the seventh time and tying Harold Baines for third on the franchise list.

How’s it going

The White Sox bounced back in grand fashion by sweeping the Cubs, taking the Field of Dreams game against the Yankees, going 3-4 against the A’s, going 2-1 against the Cubs at home, and sweeping the Pirates.

Meanwhile the Royals aren’t in last in the Central division-that spot is reserved for the Twins-and Salvador Perez is quite literally the only good thing going for them at this point. He’s leading the team in home runs (38) and RBIs (94). Nicky López is leading in batting average (.289) and OBP (.362) while Whit Merrifield leads in hits (150).

The Royals are currently posting a 59-74 record. They’re 10-10 in their last 20 games and 32-34 at home. Against Central opponents they’re 25-32 and are sitting 18 12 games back from first.

Pitching matchups

Today is going to be Dallas Keuchel vs. Carlos Hernández. Keuchel has been having a tough season. He’s 8-7 over 136 23 innings, giving up 146 hits, walking a career high 47, and has 76 earned runs, posting a 5.00 ERA. He’s 1-4 in his last seven starts with a 7.34 ERA while giving up 39 hits and 28 earned runs, walking 14. In his last five starts against the Royals, Keuchel is 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA.

Hernández is 4-1 this season over 64 23 innings with a 3.62 ERA. He’s 3-1 in his last seven starts over 37 13 innings with a 3.38 ERA. Hernández has faced the White Sox twice, going 2-0 over 11 innings with a 0.82 ERA. He relies on five pitches: four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, changeup, and sinker. Against lefties, Hernández is 3.68 and 3.57 against righties. He’s doing much better post All-Star break, posting a 2.93 ERA as opposed to the 4.98 ERA pre All-Star break.

Saturday is Reynaldo López vs. Daniel Lynch. López has been having a solid season between he reliever innings and his starts. He’s 3-1 this season over 35 innings with a 1.54 ERA. López is 2-1 against the Royals over 26 13 innings with a 5.13 ERA. He hasn’t faced them as a starter since August of 2020.

Lynch is 4-3 this season with a 4.47 ERA over 48 13 innings with a 4.47 ERA. In his last seven starts he’s 4-1 with a 2.23 ERA, allowing 37 hits and striking out 40. Against the White Sox he’s 1-1 with a 14.29 ERA. Lynch relies on five pitches: a 4-seam fastball, slider, changeup, sinker, and curveball. He’s another player who is posting a better ERA after the All-Star break with a 2.23 ERA as opposed to the 15.75 ERA he posted pre All-Star break.

Sunday is Dylan Cease vs. Brady Singer. Cease is 11-6 this season with a 3.82 ERA over 143 23 innings. He’s struck out 188 while walking 56 and giving up 119 hits. Cease is 4-0 over his last seven starts with a 2.85 ERA and 2-0 against the Royals in his last five appearances with a 1.98 ERA.

Singer is 3-9 this season with a 4.87 ERA over 109 innings. In his last seven starts he’s 0-3 with a 5.29 ERA. In Singer’s last five starts against the White Sox he’s 0-1 with a 5.29 ERA. He relies on four pitches: sinker, slider, changeup, and four-seam fastball.

Why we hate them