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Game CXIII: Royals v. White Sox

Zack is back on the mound, looking to take the series

Chicago White Sox v Kansas City Royals Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images

The Royals are pretty fun again. They aren’t good yet, but they’re at least fun. And for what it’s worth, they have been winning some games as of late. Since June 21, they have a better record than the New York Yankees.

Since June 15, they’re .500. Granted, they’ve been outscored by 27 runs and the pythag W-L record isn’t quite as good, but even so. That .443 pythag is better than the actual .339 clip they were running in April and May.

Brady Singer has been absolute nails since his return to the rotation, pitching better than he has at any point in his career. Despite a tough end to last night’s outing, Kris Bubic has also looked good across his last eight starts. But beyond that, the offense has been legitimately good.

58 games is not a small sample. With a lineup that has been, at times, nearly 70% rookies, this could also just be the start. Our own Max Rieper had a nice piece this morning, asking if this core will be good. They are fun and nobody is denying that watching MJ Melendez and Vinnie Pasquantino is preferable to Ryan McBroom and Ryan O’Hearn.

But we still don’t know how good they’ll be. The future of the offense looks somewhat bright, albeit due for some regression, but the pitching is what lingers as the bigger question mark for the future. With that said, let’s enjoy the fun baseball, yeah?

Zack Greinke takes the mound today for Kansas City, looking to rebound a bit from a tough start against Boston. He’s also looking for his first start of at least 6.0 innings since June. He’s opposed by righty Dylan Cease, arguably the hottest pitcher in baseball and a front runner for American League Cy Young.

Cease has gone 11 consecutive outings allowing one earned run or fewer, including a stretch of five consecutive scoreless outings back in May. The Royals have had little luck against him, scoring just two runs in 11.2 innings against the 26-year-old across his two starts against them. They did manage to scrap together 7 hits off Cease across 5.2 innings in his last start against him, but were unable to push across a run.

MJ Melendez is back in the leadoff spot, a position that pretty firmly belongs to him at this point. Not only does Melendez have the highest BB% of active Kansas City batters with at least 100 plate appearances, but he also owns a .883 OPS since moving to the lead off spot.

Michael Massey moves into the 2nd spot in the order with Bobby Witt Jr. getting the day off, with the rest of the lineup looking pretty familiar.

Here are your complete lineups for today’s afternoon matchup.