It's May 4 and the Kansas City Royals have only played 25 games. If they were to continue playing games at the pace they have played them so far, the regular season would finish on November 7.
Kansas CIty and Chicago have already played each other this season, with the White Sox winning two out of three games in the series. The Royals have to like their chances better the second time around, as they are currently not scheduled to face either Chris Sale or Jake Peavy, although Sale could pitch on Monday.
Dylan Axelrod will take the mound for the White Sox on Saturday. Axelrod's calling call in the minor leagues appeared to be excellent control and acceptable strikeout numbers, although that has yet to translate into success as the major league level. The right-handed starter currently owns a 3.95 ERA, but a 4.83 FIP suggests he hasn't pitched that well. Axelrod currently has a below-average strikeout rate and above-average walk rate, not a recipe for success.
Jeremy Guthrie will take the mound for the Royals. Guthrie currently sports a 3.06 ERA, but his peripherals suggest that he is still the pitcher he has always been. The veteran starter's shiny era is being supported by a 92.3% strand rate, which is unsustainable.
In his last start, Guthrie tossed six shutout innings despite the fact that he allowed nine baserunners. Although it was nice to see Guthrie bear down with runners on, some of the runners will start to cross home plate over the course of the season.
The Royals should have the better starting pitcher tonight, since Axelrod has yet to prove that he can be a quality major-league starting pitcher. The White Sox have been completely inept at the plate so far this season, so I don't see Guthrie's ERA-regression starting tonight.