Chris Sale (2-0, 2.25 ERA) and Yordano Ventura (2-1, 4.80 ERA) take the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Chicago White Sox (6-8) and the Kansas City Royals (11-4) at U.S. Cellular Field. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Apr. 23 and can be seen on CSN-CHI, FSN-KC and MLB Network.
Sale is 7-8 with a 2.68 ERA in his appearances against the Royals, but goes up against a quality Kansas City offense which is batting .303 this season. Jose Abreu (.291, 7 Rs, 5 HRs, 12 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and three RBIs. Against the White Sox, Ventura is 2-2 with a 4.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 20 strikeouts. Lorenzo Cain (.377, 12 Rs, 2 HRs, 12 RBIs, 5 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one stolen base.
Chicago is a -147 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. Though the White Sox have had a tough season in terms of their overall money line (-184), they have done fairly well as a favorite with a record of 3-1. Chicago is unbeaten as the favorite and has a 6-4 SU record in its last ten outings.
In the other locker room, Kansas City has a perfect record of 5-0 when playing as the underdog and an overall money line of +793. They played solid baseball as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 4-0 record, and a 7-3 record SU. Offensively, the Royals have really picked up the pace in division games. They have exceeded their season average of 5.8 runs per game by averaging 6.5 in those contests. The Royals capitalize on their at-bats at a high percentage, leading the league with a .303 team batting average. The Royals are an excellent base stealing team with 15 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB. Shifting to the pitching staff and defense, the The Royals allow just 3.3 runs per game, ranking them second in the AL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Royals are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.08 for the season.
The Royals have the edge in the season series, 3-0. The White Sox have a 6-5 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Ventura takes the mound. Sale (LHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a 6-1 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals hold a 6-3 record in matchups against AL Central Division rivals, while the White Sox currently sit at 6-8 in these games.
When leading after 7 innings, Kansas City is 5-0, while Chicago is 1-3.
After a weak showing last week where they got in six hits, the Royals need to step it up. The White Sox have a record of 2-0 when opponents get six hits or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the White Sox are 6-1. The Royals have a 10-1 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 23rd, Chicago is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 50 this season. Kansas City ranks in the top five at fourth with 81.
Ranking 28th, Chicago is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 29 this season. Kansas City ranks in the bottom half at 18th with 40.
When the White Sox hit at least one home run, they are 5-4. When the Royals hit at least one homer, they have an 8-1 record.