The Chicago White Sox are playing as well as anyone in baseball as they push for the AL Central title. Chicago and the division-rival Royals open a four-game series at last-place Kansas City on Thursday, the last series of the year between the teams.
How to Bet White Sox at Royals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Thursday, 8:05 PM ET
- Where: Kauffman Stadium
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Dylan Cease/Danny Duffy
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA
The White Sox swept three games in Kansas from July 31-Aug. 2. Chicago was active in some trade talks before Monday’s deadline but didn’t make any deals. The front office wants to win now but not to mortgage the future. The only players not under club control for next season are closer Alex Colome, catcher James McCann and injured outfielder/infielder Leury Garcia.
“There’s a great deal of value in winning this year,” GM Rick Hahn said. “It’s unique, certainly it’s different from previous seasons but with the challenges presented this season, what a team has to go through in order to get across that finish line as a champion, by no means in my opinion takes away from the value of that championship.”
Luis Robert is the clear AL Rookie of the Year favorite. The White Sox are in the midst of a race for the division title, something they have not captured since 2008, and Robert is leading the charge with some of the most important hits of the season. He owns a WAR of 1.7 which is tied for 11th in all of baseball.
“I mean, honestly, he looks like a young Mike Trout in centerfield that can do everything,” former White Sox legend Frank Thomas said this week.
It’s young right-hander Dylan Cease (4-2) on the mound Thursday. Cease issued a career-high six walks but managed to hold the Royals to one run in 4 1/3 innings Saturday. None of Cease’s six walks came back to bite him, as the lone run scored off of him came on an Alex Gordon solo homer.
Cease threw 53 four-seam fastballs (97.6 mph avg; 99.0 mph max), 31 sliders (85.0 avg; 87.3 max), seven knuckle curves (78.2 avg; 80.8 max) and two changeups (84.0 avg; 84.5 max). Ball four of each of Cease’s six walks were on the fastball.
The right-hander has a 3.00 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 27:18 K:BB through 36 innings. Cease’s ERA sits at 3.00, while his FIP tells a much different story: 6.21. His BB/9 for the year sits at 4.50. But he is 4-1 with a 2.14 ERA (8 ER/33.2 IP) and .205 (24-117) opponents average over his last six starts.Why Bet on Kansas City?
The Royals are just playing out the string on another lousy season. They recently traded reliever Trevor Rosenthal to the Padres. Greg Holland has taken over as closer and on Monday picked up his first save at Kauffman Stadium in a Royals uniform since 2015. Holland has provided an experienced presence and also served as a tutor to the club’s crop of young relievers in their first or second year in the majors such as Josh Staumont, Tyler Zuber and Kyle Zimmer.
In the last week, the Royals added 24-year-old outfielder Edward Olivares, a top 15-prospect in the San Diego Padres’ farm system in the Rosenthal trade as well as 23-year-old infielder Lucius Fox, a top-25 prospect in the Tampa Bay Rays’ farm system, in exchange for Brett Phillips.
Star shortstop Adalberto Mondesi has been in a season-long slump in which he’s been caught stealing five times and found himself in the bottom-third of the Royals’ order. Former All-Star catcher Salvador Perez is on the injured list with an eye injury and not likely back soon. Cam Gallagher and Meibrys Viloria have been handling the catching duties with Perez on the shelf.
It’s lefty Danny Duffy (2-2, 4.11) scheduled for this one. Duffy (forearm) allowed four runs — three of them earned — over 5 2/3 innings last Friday against the White Sox. The veteran southpaw threw 92 pitches (61 strikes) and didn’t seem to be bothered by the forearm tightness that caused him to be bumped from his start earlier in the week.
Duffy gave up a solo homer to Luis Robert in the second inning, but he actually held the powerful White Sox lineup in check until Eloy Jimenez slugged a three-run homer in the fifth. The southpaw struck out three and walked one in the no-decision.
There was some talk that Duffy would be traded this week. The Royals signed Duffy to a 5-year, $65 million deal prior to 2017. He was coming off a strong 2014-2016 stretch where he produced a combined 6.3 WAR and was a contributor on their back-to-back World Series teams. He has produced an additional 7.2 WAR so far over the course of that contract.Expert PredictionWhite Sox 6, Royals 3