The Royals and White Sox conclude their four-game series this afternoon with the Royals in position to win their third consecutive series. ABSOLUTELY NO CELEBRATING OF ANY KIND WILL BE TOLERATED! With a win, the Royals can go 20 games over .500 for the first time since anyone alive can remember. Standing in their way, however, is All-Star pitcher Chris Sale. Sale has probably been the best pitcher in the league this year, despite what "The Will to Win" people might have to say about his 8-4 record. Sale leads the league in strikeouts-per-nine innings, FIP, and fWAR among pitchers. Against the Royals, he has just a 7-8 record lifetime despite a 2.68 ERA in 111 innings.
The Royals counter with Danny Duffy who has been more consistent since coming off the disabled list, going at least six innings in three of his four starts. Duffy has struck out just one hitter over his last two starts, but has given up just nine hits and two runs, so perhaps his "pitch to contact" philosophy is his key to success. He'll have to go deep in this game, as the Royals pen is depleted after a Friday doubleheader and 13-inning affair today. Yohan Pino was brought up to replace Brandon Finnegan in the pen, and Ned Yost says he and Joe Blanton are the only relievers available today.
Well, maybe MITCH.
Let's take baseball seriously. Its a serious endeavor. LINEUP!
It Ain't All Flowers Lineup: Escobar 6, Moustakas 5, Cain 8, Hosmer 3, Morales DH, Perez 2, Infante 4, Rios 9, Orlando 7, Duffy 1. #royals— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) July 19, 2015