A series of two bottom AL Central teams doesn’t look too attractive on paper, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity to cash in. Other than White Sox, Royals, and sports bettors, no one is watching this game. The sports bettors probably outnumber the White Sox and Royals’ fans here, considering how they are not very good teams. The Royals finished last in the division last season, while the White Sox were ahead of them by four games.
Fast forward to now, and while there aren’t nearly as many games played, the standings look the same at the bottom. The Royals are last with a record of 5-10 and the White Sox are 5-9. Either the Royals or White Sox are likely finishing at the bottom of the standings again. The most important battle will be between the Twins and Indians, who figure to be the only two team in the division who have a shot at the division.
White Sox got excited for a brief second in the offseason. Rumors of Bryce Harper going to the White Sox were being tossed around. It didn’t seem realistic and would have been completely out of the blue, so it was mainly just White Sox fans looking for something to get excited about. That’s truly the only thing they’ve had to get excited about in quite a while. Their last World Series win was in 2005, which is a lot better than the Indians, Tigers, and Twins can say, though.
Veteran Ervin Santana is going to hit the bump for the second time this season. He got injured early as a Twin in 2018 and their season essentially went down the tubes with that. Santana was a workhorse for them in 2017 and helped them get to the Wild Card Game. He only made five starts before sitting out the rest of the year. Heath Fillmyer will counter for the Royals this evening. Head below for our free Royals vs. White Sox pick.
K.C. Royals vs. Chicago White Sox Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Santana didn’t get an opportunity to try and get the Twins past the Wild Card Game last year. As soon as he got injured, the Indians basically ran away with the division immediately. Before Santana went on the IR, he was pitching pretty poorly. If you ask him that’s because of the injury.
Whatever it was, he was getting shelled and finished with an ERA of 8.03 with a 1.62 WHIP. Santana is entering this season at 36 years old, so father time is going to be catching up to him eventually. A 36-year-old coming off a major injury is likely going to have issues this season.
In his first season since going on the shelf, Santana was hammered for 7 hits and 7 runs in just 3.2 innings. He left 2018 in similar fashion, as he got drilled for 7 hits and 7 runs in 4 innings. 7 is usually a lucky number, but it must be giving Santana nightmares recently. That is not how you build up confidence after missing nearly all of the previous season with an injury.
He needs a solid performance to get back on track, or I don’t think the White Sox are going to be patient with him. If he continues to humiliate himself, they may just draw up a mystery injury and send him to the IR. In total, Santana enters with a shaky ERA of 17.18 and 2.73 WHIP.
His opponent this evening is looking for a confidence building outing as well. Heath Fillmyer got his feet wet as a rookie with 13 starts in 2018. It went reasonably well with an ERA of 4.26. That’s all you want to see from a guy with little experience in the majors. However, he hasn’t shown any good signs in 2019, including spring training.
Fillmyer was mauled for a 9.00 ERA and 2.29 WHIP in spring training. The Royals were hoping that it would change in the regular season, but nope, he opened the year with a dreadful performance against the Mariners. Seattle poured it on with 6 hits and 5 runs in 3 innings. By the time he left the contest, Fillmyer had a 15.00 ERA and staggering .500 OBA. Note that the KC bullpen has a 6.75 ERA, so they are unlikely to provide relief. Conversely, the White Sox have a 5.72 ERA from their relievers. In other words, there likely isn’t going to be much relief tonight. I would consider selecting the OVER in Chicago for this AL Central battle on Monday.