The Chicago White Sox hope to get back in the win column after dropping a 4-3 decision to the Kansas City Royals on Monday night. Jorge Soler homered twice, and Andrew Benintendi scored what ended up being the game-winning run with a solo shot of his own in the sixth inning.
The two teams will do battle again tonight, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 CT at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. Chicago currently leads the AL Central, while the Royals sit fourth in the division.
Two Struggling Arms Will Take The Mound
Both Dylan Cease and Brad Keller have really struggled in 2021. Cease has a 4.21 ERA and 1.31 WHIP as of now and hasn’t made it into the sixth inning since June. In Cease’s last appearance, the right-hander gave up seven hits over five innings, allowing three runs. Luckily for Cease, he fares pretty well against the Royals historically. Kansas City is only hitting .237/.272/.428 over the course of 80 at-bats.
Brad Keller will get the start for the Royals and has an even worse ERA of 5.84. Keller has already walked nearly 50 batters in 2021 and has an ugly WHIP of 1.71. Keller has faced the White Sox twice already this season and went five innings both times. The 26-year-old hasn’t had issues facing Tim Anderson or Jose Abreu, but Yoan Moncada absolutely owns him with nine hits in 32 AB’s.
Can Royals Match Chicago’s Elite Offense?
Despite the Royals hitting three homers on Monday night, it’s hard to lean on their offense as a bettor to win you games. Mike Matheny’s squad only averages 4.2 runs per game, which ranks 20th in all of baseball. The Royals are a good baserunning team but only get on at a .306 clip. After the first three hitters in Whit Merrifield, Carlos Santana, and Salvador Perez, the Royals lineup falls off a cliff.
Meanwhile, the White Sox have a nice balanced lineup, even catcher Yasmani Grandal on the DL. The Sox rank fifth in runs per game and have been led by a breakout year from Yoan Moncada. The 26-year-old third baseman is slashing .274/.392/.417 on the year, and look for designated hitter Eloy Jimenez to help him out.
Jimenez returned to the Sox lineup for the first time on Monday after being on the 60-day DL to begin the season. The 24-year-old slugger went 0/4 in his season debut, but look for him to get on the scoresheet for the first time against a pitcher like Brad Keller.
The Pick: White Sox to Win
The Royals will be clear sellers come the trade deadline, and the White Sox are looking to clinch the AL Central for the first time since 2008. Chicago is a motivated group and by far the better team that shouldn’t lose a series against a weak team like Kansas City.
Look for Tony La Russa’s ballclub to get their 60th win of the season and take advantage of a weak pitcher in Keller on Tuesday night in Missouri.
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