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Game 16 Open Thread - Royals vs. White Sox

Royals face the Sox again, this time in Chicago.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Your Kansas City Royals currently stand at 11-4, tied for first place in the AL Central with the Detroit Tigers. Their run differential sits at +32, best in Major League Baseball. So far, this has been a fantastic season.

This year's fun began a few weeks ago at Kauffman Stadium, when the Royals hoisted their American League Champions flag, received major bling in the form of AL Championship rings, and dismantled the Chicago White Sox in an exciting sweep. Today, the Royals face the White Sox again, the first game of an important 7-game road trip against divisional foes Chicago and Cleveland.

The Royals will send starter Yordano Ventura to the mound, their de facto ace who just signed a $23 million extension in the offseason. Ventura has pitched quite poorly so far; he possesses an ERA of 4.80, an FIP of 5.60, and has only averaged 5 innings per outing. In fact, each outing was shortened outside of Ventura's control, as two cramps and an ejection limited what could have been longer appearances.

The White Sox will send starter Chris Sale to the mound, a full ace by any stretch of the word. Sale, who has been worth at least 4.5 fWAR for three consecutive seasons, was injured with a foot issue and missed the Royals in the opening series. Since then he's made two highly effective starts and seems to be a fully recovered, vintage Sale, which bodes ill for the Royals. Sale has posted a 2.68 ERA in 104 innings against the Royals, striking out 8 batters per 9 innings. Oddly, the Royals have tagged him for 8 losses, the most by any team.

Here is the lineup for the Royals as they try to take down Sale and the Pale Hoes: