The Chicago White Sox host the Kansas City Royals Tuesday night in the first of a three-game series between these two floundering AL Central opponents. The Royals are playing better baseball as of late, but their success has come against equally abysmal foes. The White Sox meanwhile are coming off a 5-1 win over the Angels.
Royals not fading
Just when the Royals looked like they were gaining some late-season momentum, they dropped a 9-0 contest to Miami on Sunday. That score doesn’t offer much encouragement, but Kansas City has looked sharp over the past week, winning six of their past eight games. The Royals will be handing the ball to Jakob Junis, who won his last start against Detroit by throwing seven innings and allowing four earned runs. Junis is 2-0 against the White Sox this season, including a July 15 win in which he allowed one run over seven innings and struck out 10 batters.
Kansas City will need to give Junis some run support to stay in this one, and that’s no easy task for the Royals. They rank 28th in the big leagues at 4.26 runs per game. And remember, this is a lineup that just got shutout by Miami. The Royals lineup did add some life with late-season call-up Ryan McBroom. The first baseman is 6-19 at the plate with four RBIs. Kansas City could use a big night from DH Jorge Soler, who is on a torrid pace at the plate. Soler has 41 home runs and recently topped the 100-RBI mark.
Nova looking for a win
The White Sox are basically playing for pride at this point. Chicago’s South Side team is well on its way to a seventh-straight losing season but still have time to take some momentum into the off-season. They’ll turn to Ivan Nova on Tuesday, who is coming off three straight losses after an excellent stretch between late July and mid-August. Between July 22 to August 19, Nova dominated opponents — including Houston and Philadelphia — by allowing just four earned runs over 42.1 innings. That’s a 0.85 ERA across six starts. However, in Nova’s last outing at Cleveland, he returned to bad habits and gave up six earned runs in 4.1 innings. Which Nova will show up Tuesday night?
Chicago has played nearly .500 (34-37) ball at home this season despite being inconsistent at the plate. The White Sox rank near the bottom of the league in nearly every major statistical offensive category. Chicago will be lagging in depth at center field after it was announced that Leury Garcia is away from the team for personal reasons. The White Sox already lost Jon Jay due to hip problems. There is some reason for optimism looking at the Chicago lineup. Jose Abreu leads the AL with 112 RBI while Tim Anderson is batting a league-high .334.
- White Sox are 4-1 in Nova’s last 5 home starts
- White Sox are 5-2 in Nova’s last 7 starts during game 1 of a series.
- Royals are 1-6 in their last 7 meetings in Chicago.
- Royals are 1-4 in Junis’ last 5 starts with 5 days of rest.
- Royals are 4-9 in their last 13 during game 1 of a series.
- Royals are 2-8 after getting shut out