The Kansas City Royals are down to their last dying breath. There is no doubt that a lot has to go their way, and everything goes wrong for everybody else. The Royals staged a nice comeback to make things at least interesting, but they’re going to need a lot of good fortunes in the next two weeks. Down 6 games for a postseason spot, the Royals find themselves in a place they haven’t in several years now. The Royals haven’t been the team looking from the outside-in the last couple of years, but they are that team as we enter the final stretch of the regular season. By all accounts, it’s looking like it would take a small miracle for them to find a way in. Their bullpen has not been as sharp, and they had to deal with a handful of injuries throughout the season, notably the season ender to Moustakas.
Conversely, on the other side, the Chicago White Sox really tried their best to be the surprise team of 2016. That didn’t last too long, though. If you recall, everyone had the White Sox finishing last in the majors. As a result of some locker room controversy with Adam LaRoche and his son, the locker room appeared to be defragmented. They jumped out to a nice start over the first month of play, but that slowly dissipated and headed to the back of the division. Instead, another team in the American League Central stole the surprise team card from them, the Cleveland Indians.
The Indians may be the only team in the division to reach the postseason, as the Tigers continue to trail in the race. Chris Sale, who had two major blowouts with the White Sox is getting the start tonight. First, he was extremely outspoken about the LaRoche incident, and then in a bizarre story, he cut up throwback jerseys that the team was supposed to wear. Needless to say Sale was scratched and went home early. Sale will take on Ian Kennedy of the Royals Friday night.
Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals
Chris Sale (15-8, 3.03 ERA) vs Ian Kennedy (11-9, 3.62 ERA)
This weekend essentially means a must-win scenario for the Royals. A sweep would definitely be welcome. They are going to face a test tonight against Chris Sale. After four straight losses for the Royals, they need to find a way to pick themselves up and come to play against the White Sox. The Royals are still 41-29 at home, despite getting swept by the Athletics. So, that just tells you how uncharacteristic it was for the Royals to get hammered that badly at home to the A’s. Sale comes into Friday pitching pretty well of late, posting a 2.25 ERA and 1.12 WHIP in his last three starts. He allowed 2 runs in each of those games, including one against the Royals. The White Sox have been working him like a dog, as he has thrown over 110 pitches in each of his last seven games. In his last ten games, Sale has thrown an average of 113 pitches.
Ian Kennedy will try to do his best against Sale, who just recently blanked the White Sox for no runs and 1 hit across six innings. It was the best start for Kennedy in 2016. He will get another crack at the White Sox at home in Kansas City tonight. Kennedy has been much better at home, as he has yielded a 3.29 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. The Royals are looking to avoid a five-game skid tonight as underdogs at home. Personally, I think they are worth a look on Friday night at an attractive price.
PICK: ROYALS TO WIN +119