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Legends On Deck

Game of the Week: Royals At White Sox Preview

GOW11

The Chicago White Sox started their 2016 campaign as the surprise favorite but now as the season continues to roll on their early power surge seems to be slowing down as they are no longer atop the American League Central.

This weekend the White Sox (29-30) will host the reigning World Series’ Champion Kansas City Royals (30-29) in a battle to the top of the AL Central at U.S. Cellular Field in a three game weekend series starting at Friday night at 8:10pm.

The Royals are currently tied for second place with the Detroit Tigers just two and a half games behind the division leading Cleveland Indians. The Sox are in fourth place three and a half games behind the Indians proving that this series is important for both clubs if they are going to stay in the mix.

The Matchup:

Kansas City Royals: RHP Ian Kennedy (3.44, 4-4) has been a welcomed addition to the Royals’ rotation. He did start to struggled through the end of May and in his last outing on Saturday against the division foe Cleveland Indians, Kennedy worked six innings allowing five earned runs. This was just the third game this season that Kennedy allowed more than two runs in an outing showing that he is able to limit the damage per start. Since joining the division recently, Kennedy doesn’t have much experience against the White Sox lineup. Jimmy Rollins does have .261 batting average and a homer against the righty and Melky Cabrera has hit .400 against Kennedy in the past along with a homer and 2 RBIs.

Chicago White Sox: LHP Chris Sale (2.54, 9-2) began the season as one of the best pitchers in baseball as he cruised to a 9-0 record. Since then, he has had three starts which included two losses and a no-decision and has sent his ERA from 1.58 to 2.54. His struggles along with the offensive struggles of the Sox, are just some of the issues that have sent the former first place team to plummet down the AL Central standings. If Sale wants to rebound on his latest struggles he will have to figure out how to finish at-bats by Lorenzo Cain who has a .348 batting average along with 3 homers and 8 RBIs, Alcides Escobar who has hit .375 with a homer and a RBI against the left-hander and Kendrys Morales who has hit .273 with a homer and 3 RBIs.

Heavy Hitters:

Kansas City Royals:

  • The Royals are without two of their prominent players in Alex Gordon and Mike Moustakas who were both injured in an on-field collision in May. But the Champs still have three of the most consistent hitters in Eric Hosmer who is leading the team with a .321 batting average, 10 homers and 35 RBIs. Lorenzo Cain (.286/ 8HR/ 34 RBIs) and Salvador Perez (.272/ 25 RBIs) are also powerful at the plate and are responsible for the Royals famous late game comebacks.

Chicago White Sox:

  • The White Sox are led by third baseman Todd Frazier who they acquired in a three team trade this past offseason who currently as a team high of 19 homeruns and 42 RBIs. Melky Cabrera has a team leading .286 followed by Adam Eaton (.271) and Austin Jackson (.258).

Probable Lineups:

Kansas City Royals:

Alcides Escobar, SS

Whit Merrifield, 2B

Lorenzo Cain, CF

Eric Hosmer, 1B

Salvador Perez, C

Kendrys Morales, DH

Paulo Orlando, RF

Cheslor Cuthbert, 3B

Jarrod Dyson, LF

Chicago White Sox:

Adam Eaton, RF

Austin Jackson, CF

Jose Abreu, 1B

Todd Frazier, 3B

Melky Cabrera, LF

Jimmy Rollins, SS

Brett Lawrie, 2B

Alex Avila, C

Avisail Garcia, DH

 

 

 

 

Bethany Cohen

Bethany Cohen

Senior Editor at Legends On Deck®
Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for Examiner.com and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany
Bethany Cohen