The White Sox enter this, the final game of their 13 scheduled against the Kansas City Royals for 2023, looking to avoid finishing with a losing record this season against a team currently on pace for the sixth-most losses in the live-ball era. How’s that for a game outlook?
Reliever Steven Cruz is listed as the starter for Kansas City, but he’ll reportedly only serve as an opener for rookie Alec Marsh, who has made eight starts and appeared as a bulk reliever (as he will tonight) in five more. He’s still in search of his first MLB win, bearing an ignominious 0-8 record to start his career. He hasn’t faced the Sox, and he’ll come at them with a six-pitch arsenal that has been hit hard this year but may very well confound simple approaches of the Pale Hose. Marsh’s fastball lives in the mid-90s, with distinct approaches depending on a hitter’s handedness. The four lefties in the lineup will mostly see a combination of a big 12-6 curveball and an unremarkable changeup on top of his fastball, while righties will see him attempt to tunnel an up-and-down breaking ball (slider) with a side-to-side breaking ball (sweeper).
As for the lineup that’ll be facing that arsenal, the kids will be getting the evening off, as Korey Lee and Lenyn Sosa ride the bench in favor of Yasmani Grandal and Elvis Andrus. Gavin Sheets is back in right field, because there’s just nobody else. Matt Quatraro and the Royals are running out what amounts to their A lineup these days, which includes a whopping two players with an OPS+ better than a league-average 100: Bobby Witt Jr. (118) and Edward Olivares (108). It’s impressive, to be so bad as to inspire pity in a White Sox fan. As it stands now, it seems as if Kansas City will be sharing an equal 16.5% chance at the first overall pick with the Athletics and Pirates.
First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. CT, and as per usual, the game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Chicago and WMVP ESPN 1000. We’ll see you in the comments!