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Gamethread: White Sox at Royals

Somebody has to win it, right?

The Tigers have already taken a big bite out of September’s allegedly cupcake schedule.

The White Sox may be 25th in runs per game and coming off a home series where they scored four runs in three games against Detroit, and the Royals may be 28th and now just a half-game better than an Oakland team that was long headed for the worst record in MLB history, but, by golly, they’ll both be swinging hot bats today.

That’s the bat themselves that will be hot, thanks to temps pushing 100° and a heat index on the field well into triple figures. Whether either team can hit anything with their literally hot bats remains to be seen, especially with each missing its best player.

Trying to cool K.C.’s bats will be Jesse Scholtens, one of the very few pleasant surprises this season, whose 1-6 record may be terrible, but 3.97 ERA is just fine for someone hooked while bottom fishing. Scholtens could be an example of how a pitcher can make it through Chris Getz’s player development system and not come out of it completely awful, but he actually came through the San Diego system and got picked up as AAAA fodder in December.

Scholtens had a good outing last time, holding the Orioles to one run, though that came off of games getting hammered by Oakland and Colorado.

Facing the Sox will be lefty Cole Ragans, who was traded to K.C. by the Rangers for Aroldis Chapman on June 30 and has been terrific ever since. with an ERA shy of two. He has slight reverse splits, so the advantage vs. southpaws the White Sox used to have may not matter. He won’t have to deal with Luis Robert Jr., who is still out with leg cramp problems.

Scholtens gets the break of a K.C. lineup without Bobby Witt Jr., who has finally been living up to his superstar predictions.

  1. Maikel Garcia (R) SS
  2. Edward Olivares (R) DH
  3. Salvador Pérez (R) 1B
  4. MJ Melendez (L) LF
  5. Freddy Fermin (R) C
  6. Nelson Velazquez (R) RF
  7. Michael Massey (L) 2B
  8. Drew Waters (S) CF
  9. Nick Loftin (R) 3B

First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. Central with a forecast of hot, hot, and hotter. Usual broadcast suspects.