Gentlemen and gentlewomen, it seems as though just yesterday the 2014 season began with high hopes and dreams. Today, the Royals' season reaches triple digits (or goes back to one digit if you are a Roman). One hundred games in and our, er, 'loveable' Royals are at 49-50 and have a chance to #Be500KC before the afternoon rush hour.
On the mound for Kansas City is Big Game James, who is probably less than pleased that his team is competing for a mediocre record at this point in the season. Regardless, this is James' last year in KC barring some miraculous/catastrophic change to the baseball landscape. Though he was struggling earlier, Shields has put in a quintessential James Shields Season with his ERA, FIP, and xFIP deviating a combined 0.10 from his career numbers in those categories. ZiPS has him on pace to finish with 222 innings pitched, which would actually be his least amount of IP in the past four seasons.
On the mound for Chicago is Jose Quintana, a talented 25 year old from Columbia in his third season of baseball. An underrated starter, he has a career ERA of 3.52, a career FIP of 3.66, and has a career K:BB of 2.68. This year, he's done very well, and is on pace for ~200 innings and 4+ fWAR. He gives up few homers, which either means the Royals will continue to lack any semblance of power or will hit three HR today out of spite to the Baseball Gods.
The lineups go like this:
Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) July 23, 2014
Eric Hosmer is back in at first base and hitting third, which is a good thing as his OPS for July is a towering 1.120. Hosmer needs to keep this up if the Royals have any chance of competing for the Wild Card at all. Valencia is DH against a tough lefty, which is a fine enough decision.
There is no TV today, (un)fortunately. Kansas City area fans can listen on 610 Sports Radio, and Chicago fans can listen to 670 The Score. Gameday is, however, always available, so that's at least something.