The KC Royals continue their seven game road trip, looking to finally get on some sort of offensive run. They’ll have a chance to do it against a struggling Chicago White Sox team, an opponent they have had recent success with.
The KC Royals bats had serious trouble in Arlington, with multiple hitters in deep slumps. The pitching continued its hot streak, now it is time for the offense to reward the staff.
Game 1: LHP Jason Vargas (3-0, 0.44 ERA, 0.77 WHIP) vs. RHP Miguel Gonzalez (2-0, 2.84 ERA, 1.37 WHIP)
Looking to finally get a winning streak going, the KC Royals will send one of the hottest pitchers in all of baseball to the hill. Jason Vargas.
Here is where Vargas ranks among all pitchers in some categories.
- 1st in ERA
- T-1st in Wins
- 5th in WHIP
- T-18th in BAA
This may be the best steak we’ve ever seen Jason Vargas in. And it’s all because he’s throwing the changeup well. Opponents are only batting .120 against it this year.
Vargas will look to have success against a lineup that is the second worst at hitting changeups, according to Fangraphs pitch values.
Stepping on the bump for the White Sox will be veteran righty Miguel Gonzalez. He is off to a nice start this year, throwing the rare split-finger fastball well. This could present a nice matchup for the KC Royals, as they have been one of the better split-finger fastball hitting teams the past couple of years.
Gonzalez struggles third time through the order, so the Royals bats might have to remain patient.
In Gonzalez’s last start, he pitched a gem. He went 8.1 innings, giving up only four hits and one run. This was the fifth best start of his career, according to Game Score.
Batter to Watch – Alcides Escobar: Alcides Escobar was taking a different approach against Yu Darvish Sunday afternoon, taking more pitches than usual. It will be different Monday, as Escobar is 8 for 22 against the split-finger fastball dating back to 2014.
Game 2: LHP Danny Duffy (2-0, 1.32 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) vs. RHP Dylan Covey (0-1, 7.84 ERA, 1.94 WHIP)
Another KC Royals pitcher off to a hot start is Danny Duffy. Here is where he stands among starting pitchers in some categories.
6th in ERA
- T-16th in Wins
- 24th in WHIP
- T-18th in BAA
- T-9th in IP
Duffy has had mad success against the White Sox. According to Game Score, Duffy last year had his 2nd and 4th best starts against the White Sox, including a complete game.
Like Vargas, Duffy is also working his changeup well, which could continue against a weak changeup hitting lineup. So hopefully Duffy can provide a quality start and move to 3-0 on the year.
The White Sox will be sending Dylan Covey out, making his third career start. Picked up in the Rule 5 Draft from the Athletics season, the White Sox chose to keep Covey, placing him on the Opening Day roster.
After pitching very well in his first start, Covey was lit up by the New York Yankees, giving up ten hits and eight runs in five innings.
Covey works four pitches, fastball, curveball, changeup, slider, mixing his secondary offerings very well.
Batter to Watch – Jose Abreu: Abreu loves hitting off Duffy, going 10 for 31 off him in his career, along with showing plate discipline, with six strikeouts to four walks.
Game 3: RHP Nate Karns (0-1, 6.35 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) vs. LHP Jose Quintana (0-4, 6.17 ERA, 1.54 WHIP)
In the final game of this series, Nate Karns will look to have a bounce back performance against a division rival. In his last start, Karns delivered a disappointing 4.2 innings.
White Sox hitters will have to deal with a lot of curveballs and changeups. In his last start, Karns threw a mistake pitch on each of those, allowing one homer on his curveball and one on his changeup. If he wants a successful outing, he’ll have to utilize has changeup well.
The White Sox final starter will be a familiar face. The KC Royals will be facing Jose Quintana for the 23rd time. Quintana is 1-9 with 4.39 ERA against the Royals.
Quintana will be looking for his first win of the season.
Current KC Royals hitters have a .743 OPS against Quintana, including 11 home runs. Familiarity shouldn’t be a problem.
Batter to Watch – Salvador Perez: In his career, Perez has smashed agains the lefty. He is 19 for 57 with 7 extra base hits.
Royals take 2 of 3
"KC Royals: Week 2 Minor League Breakdown"
Like I said. the Royals offense will have a chance to get back on track against some struggling pitchers. Hopefully they can get on role in the south side.