Wade Davis will start the game for Kansas City. The right-hander has been part disaster and part unfortunate, but each start recently has pushed him closer towards complete disaster. Davis owns an absolutely atrocious 5.92 ERA, but his 4.38 FIP and 4.26 SIERA continue to stubbornly suggest that he should be a serviceable starter in the back of a rotation.
Davis has fanned 19.7% of the batters he's faced this season, which is league-average, but his walk rate is above-average at 9.6% and has risen over his past few starts. Big Trade Wade gets absolutely crushed when teams make contact against him, indicated by his .388 BABIP, and he has only stranded 65.9% of runners that reach base, compared to his career average 72.7% LOB%.
Davis has definitely had some bad fortune, but all of us watching the game know that the extra hits he allows aren't a bunch of Texas League singles falling between two defenders. Teams have absolutely teed off against Davis when he can't strike hitters out. Pitchers may not have complete control over where the ball is hit, but given how well the Royals defense has played, there is no amount of luck/forces outside of Davis' control that account for his BABIP struggles. Davis continues to prove that he doesn't have the stuff to cut it as a starter, and he doesn't appear likely to turn it around.
Chris Sale will start the Chicago. Sale has actually pitched better this season than last, as he currently sports a 2.81 ERA and a 2.94 FIP. The southpaw is fanning 27.7% of hitters who come to the plate and only walking 5.9%. He continues to pitch like an ace, and should probably earn a few Cy Young votes.
It's hard to like the Royals chances of picking up a win today, given the pitching matchup. Anything could happen, but I can't imagine many of us will watch this game expecting a victory for the good guys.