clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Chicago Pale Hoes series preview: Skirmish for third

New, 3 comments
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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

Pitching match-ups

Game One - Tuesday, 7:15 PM CDT

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Chris Sale (L) 21 147.0 143 33 3.12 3.64 3.73 3.61 3.2 3.8
Edinson Volquez 23 135.1 102 52 4.99 4.43 4.40 4.50 1.2 0.1

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

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Jose Quintana (L) 22 144.1 128 34 2.93 3.48 4.08 3.93 3.5 4.1
Ian Kennedy 22 127.1 132 43 4.03 4.96 4.37 3.93 0.6 1.9

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

Pitcher G IP K BB ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Miguel Gonzalez 18 101.1 76 33 4.09 3.98 4.52 4.60 1.7 1.2
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.

The Batsmen

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Tim Anderson SS 215 5 27 12 4 .264 .278 .399 .290 77 0.3 0.9
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
Jose Abreu 1B 472 14 40 60 0 .275 .333 .438 .328 103 0.0 1.2
Justin Morneau (L) DH 72 3 5 8 0 .262 .319 .462 .333 107 0.1 0.1
Todd Frazier 3B 450 30 61 69 8 .213 .300 .470 .327 102 1.0 2.1
Avisail Garcia RF 320 9 39 36 3 .240 .309 .378 .301 85 -0.2 0.2
Dioner Navarro (S) C 262 5 21 27 1 .209 .268 .343 .267 61 -0.2 -0.4
Tyler Saladino 2B 182 6 22 23 7 .260 .302 .396 .302 85 0.5 0.9
Bench Pos PA HR R RBI SB BA OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
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.

Editor's Note: New players win cash in their first daily fantasy league or get their entry fee refunded! Offered in SB Nation's partnership with FanDuel, your hub for daily fantasy baseball and more.