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Game 16: Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox

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Happy Jackie Robinson Day!

Photo by David Banks/Getty Images

Kansas City Royals @ Chicago White Sox

Heath Fillmyer (0-0, 15.00 ERA) vs. Ervin Santana (0-1, 17.18 ERA)

First pitch- 7:10 CT

Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois

Declaring this a pivotal series for the Royals so early in the 2019 campaign would be a bit of an exaggeration. But just 15 games in and after suffering through ten straight losses, Kansas City has a chance to climb back into the running of the Central before we hit May. Coming off a three-game sweep over then front running Cleveland, the next three pitchers the Royals face have ERA’s of 17.18, 12.15, and 6.19. With two difficult series against the Yankees and Rays following this one in Chicago, taking no less than two of three is a must.

Of course, in the marathon that is 162 games, stamping games as pivotal in April is borderline insanity. However, if Kansas City manages to claim the series or better yet sweep Chicago, turning an abysmal April into respectability would certainly creep back into contention. After all, baseball is more fun when the games matter, right?

Quick hits:

- Hamilton returns to the lineup tonight, Soler is out

- White Sox are coming off a series win against the Yankees in New York

- (Hitless watch) RF Daniel Palka is 0-28 coming into tonight

- In two starts against Chicago, Fillmyer has an 11.18 ERA in 5.1 innings while surrendering four home runs

- Merrifield has slashed .309/.375/.483 in 53 games against the White Sox

Lineup:

Merrifield 2B

Mondesi SS

Gordon LF

Dozier 3B

O’Hearn 1B

Duda DH

Owings RF

Maldonado C

Hamilton CF