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Gamethread: Royals at White Sox

Maybe they’ll consider beating the worse team, this time around

MLB: Houston Astros at Chicago White Sox Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The White Sox (16-29) and Michael Kopech take the field tonight looking to right the ship after last night’s loss — and Kopech’s frustrating start last week — against Zack Greinke (1-4) and the Kansas City Royals (14-31). This is the second time in two weeks that the Sox have seen KC, and they’ll look for something approximating revenge after dropping three of four in disastrous fashion at Kauffman Stadium. That series included 5 23 two-run innings from Greinke, who now makes his 30th career start opposite the Sox. If he can make it through another 5 23 tonight, he’ll join Justin Verlander, Mike Mussina, CC Sabathia, and Brad Radke (whew, names!) as the only pitchers since 1990 to accumulate 200 innings against the team.

Romy González returns to the lineup for the first time following a brief IL stint, while Andrew Benintendi returns to the top of the lineup after yesterday’s demotion and Jake Burger slides back down to the seven spot. Amazingly, Benintendi and José Abreu remain the only players left in baseball with at least 170 plate appearances and not a home run to their name.

Kansas City gives us their standard lineup without Greinke, which should be easy enough pickings for a young starter looking to get back on track, as Salvador Pérez, Vinnie Pasquantino, and Nick Pratto are the only Royals’ starters with anything even resembling an average offensive statline.

Throwing on a full week’s rest for the first time this year, look for Michael Kopech to show strong velocity out of the gate. The quality of his best fastball can carry him through a lineup once, but Kopech’s effectiveness tonight (and the rest of the season going forward) will depend on his ability to hit the glove side corner with his slider and get literally any use at all out of his curveball and changeup, both of which have mostly been non-factors this year.

First pitch is at 7:10 pm CT, as per usual, the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago and ESPN AM 1000.