The Royals have snapped their season-long eight game losing streak, but it won't mean much if they continue another slide. A win today, and the Royals could win their first series since sweeping the Rays at home two weeks ago. A loss, and we'll begin to wonder if yesterday wasn't just a momentary reprieve from a continuing freefall.
Yordano Ventura takes to the hill today for the first time since being ejected from Tuesday's game against Baltimore for intentionally plunking Manny Machado, instigating a bench-clearing brawl. Ventura is definitely trending in the wrong direction, he has given up 35 runs in 43 innings over his last eight starts with just 23 strikeouts over that time. Even before that, however, it seemed as if a strong defense was papering over some serious deficiencies in Ventura's game. He still has the fourth-highest walk rate among all qualified starters, and his command has been off all season. If Ventura is going to turn his season around, he had better start doing it soon.
Carlos Rodon goes for the White Sox, appearing for the first time since June 3. He was scratched from his start on Thursday with a stiff neck, but avoided a stint on the disabled list and is ready to go today. Rodon has already faced the Royals twice this year, allowing three runs in 11 2/3 innings. The left hander has struck out nearly a hitter per inning, but has posted a 4.41 ERA, with a 4.91 ERA at home in U.S. Cellular Field. The southpaw had been tough against lefty hitters, allowing them to hit just .220/.258/.288 on the year, presenting a tough challenge for Eric Hosmer.