With contention a distant memory for both the World Champion Kansas City Royals and the team that plays baseball on the South Side of Chicago, this week's series is as much a matter of pride as anything else. These two squads are tied for third place in the American League Central with a record of 53-58, ten games back of the division-leaders Cleveland. In a season in which both teams held the division lead at one point, standing ten games back in early August means each team completely blew it and did so alarmingly quickly.
*All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball-Reference
Game One - Tuesday, 7:15 PM CDT
|Chris Sale (L)||21||147.0||143||33||3.12||3.64||3.73||3.61||3.2||3.8|
Chris Sale settled into a performance level slightly more in line with his true talent level after jumping out to resounding early-season Cy Young front-runner status. Now he's just normal, really good Chris Sale. And he HATES retro jerseys.
Game Two - Wednesday, 7:15 PM CDT
|Jose Quintana (L)||22||144.1||128||34||2.93||3.48||4.08||3.93||3.5||4.1|
With the benefit of a serviceable defense behind him and some good luck with runners on base, Quintana has been arguably better than his rotation-mate Sale. The other key to Quintana's success can be found in looking at his home-run rates. His 8.9 HR/FB% jibes with his career 8.6% mark, making him the only pitcher in the world who isn't getting at least a little bit screwed by the juiced-ball-fueled dongapalooza that is the 2016 Major League Baseball season.
Game Three - Thursday, 7:15 PM CDT
|Danny Duffy (L)||32||115.1||132||25||2.97||3.26||3.56||3.15||2.6||3.2|
For a pitcher who cost Rick Hahn nothing, Miguel Gonzalez has been pretty solid this season. Judging him by virtually any measure, Gonzalez would be the Royals second- or third-best starting pitcher. Sure, that's damning him with faint praise, but the fact remains that he is on pace for a season worth somewhere in the neighborhood of 1.5-2.5 WAR. For anyone looking to try to establish whether the Orioles' organization is terrible when it comes to pitcher development or whether Don Cooper and the
White Sox er, Pail Hoes are pitcher whispering wizards, well the totally pedestrian Miguel Gonzalez is pitching better than any Royals' starter not named Danny Duffy.
|Melky Cabrera (S)||LF||433||9||46||51||1||.302||.347||.455||.342||113||1.0||1.4|
|Adam Eaton (L)||CF||496||9||53||39||12||.271||.356||.409||.335||108||4.0||4.6|
|Justin Morneau (L)||DH||72||3||5||8||0||.262||.319||.462||.333||107||0.1||0.1|
|Dioner Navarro (S)||C||262||5||21||27||1||.209||.268||.343||.267||61||-0.2||-0.4|
|Omar Narvaez (L)||C||17||0||3||2||0||.429||.529||.500||.453||189||0.3||0.2|
|Carlos Sanchez (S)||IF||63||0||4||2||0||.119||.161||.169||.150||-19||-0.8||-0.6|
|J.B. Shuck (L)||OF||184||3||17||13||2||.213||.246||.316||.244||46||-1.1||-1.3|
Stats through Sunday, August 7
So Adam Eaton is pretty good this year. Todd Frazier and old friend Melky Cabrera have been all right. Then there's the rest of this team. Big time prospect Tim Anderson has been serviceable, though the belief that he may not be able to draw a walk is still waiting to get disproven. Jose Abreu has quietly gotten back on the positive side of the WAR picture.
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