Two of the top three teams in the American League Central take the diamond at the “K” on Thursday night when the Kansas City Royals host the first place Chicago White Sox. The Pale Sox send right-hander Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 4.57 ERA) to the hill to oppose Royals lefty Danny Duffy (0-0, 2.13).
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals (-160, 8.5)
Pitchers: Sox RHP Miguel Gonzalez (0-1, 4.57 ERA) vs Royals LHP Danny Duffy (0-0, 2.13)
Time: 8:15 PM ET, Thursday, May 26, 2016
Venue: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
Gonzalez White Sox right-hander Miguel Gonzalez takes the his turn in the Chicago rotation and faces the Royals twice within six days. Gonzalez allowed two earned runs with no walks and eight strikeouts over six innings Saturday for his first quality start in a Sox uniform. The Pale Sox righty is 1-4 with a 4.66 ERA in five career starts against Kansas City and is 0-7 over his last 12 big-league starts dating back to a win on July 25, 2015 as a member of the Baltimore Orioles. Gonzalez’s peripherals suggest that being a flyball pitcher doesn’t offer a favorable forecast moving forward. And while his flyball tendencies are better suited in a venue like Target Field, Safeco or Petco Park facing a line drive and groundball hitting Royals isn’t necessarily a negative.
He career numbers, that offer evidence that he will over a course of a season, allow more than 40% fly balls, that the right-hander will allow more than his share of home runs. This tendency is aided by the fact he has moved from the American League East and the smaller dimensions to that of the AL Central, especially in spacious Kaufman Stadium
The Royals are close to having their bullpen lefty, Danny Duffy, stretched out, so he can be permanently inserted into the starting rotation. Duffy pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings in his last start — allowing four hits – this against the same Chicago lineup and opposing starter, Gonzalez. He is making his third start since returning to the rotation and while most still believe he will have his pitch count limited, once again to a neighborhood of 70-to-75 pitches, we fully expect him to throw closer to 100 than that of 75. Duffy is 3-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 12 career appearances (10 starts) against the White Sox and while he has struggled with the right-handed power of the Sox, primarily Jose Abreu and Austin Jackson, the work that he is currently providing the team is head-and-shoulders more effective and disciplined than at any point in his young career.
Chicago’s offense has been anything but productive. The Sox have scored three or fewer runs in eight of the last nine games. The Royals Kansas City pitching staff has settled in to a warm weather May groove and while their offense has produced more runs in the second month of the season the form of both clubs, the venue, weather and matchups tonight favor a low scoring game.
FREE MLB PICK TO CLICK: TOTAL UNDER 8.5 RUNS
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