For many Royals fans, Christmas has come early. It may not be December 25th, but it is April 4th. Santa Claus isn’t coming to town, but the Chicago White Sox are. Those fans aren’t wishing for presents, but for the Boys in Blue to bring home a win.
After a rough 0-2 start against the Detroit Tigers, which included two walk-off losses and a rain out, the Royals return to Kauffman Stadium to play their first home stand of the season. The White Sox got off to a hot start against the Twins, starting the season 2-1. But will the Royals continue that losing streak? Let’s take a look.
Although the 0-2 record doesn’t look pretty, the Royals record doesn’t reflect their play. Their games were against two former Cy Young winning pitchers in Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. Both James Shields and Jason Vargas had quality starts, but the hitting was poor.
While catcher Salvador Perez went 4-4 from the plate in the first game, everyone else went 3-31. The offense didn’t improve much in the second game, only hitting .181 from the plate.
Chicago has appeared solid through the first three games. Hitting .301 and scoring 21 runs in their series against the Twins, they are a top 10 offense through the first week. Their pitching has struggled, allowing 19 runs against the Twins. Catcher Tyler Flowers is hitting .500, and CF Alejandro De Aza has launched three home runs. However, they were playing the Twins, which may partly be why they have succeeded so much.
In the first game of the home stand, Royals pitcher Jeremy Guthrie faces off against White Sox pitcher Erik Johnson on Friday at 3:10 p.m. Johnson only appeared in five games last season, while Guthrie may be one of the best 4th starters in all of MLB. Guthrie should have the edge in this match up, and with the sold out crowd’s support, should get their first win of the season.
On Saturday at 1:10 p.m., Kansas City pitcher Bruce Chen takes the mound versus Chicago pitcher John Danks. Chen spent most of his season in the bullpen last season, posting a 3.27 ERA. Danks went 4-14 for Chicago last season, posting a 4.75 ERA. This will most likely be the most boring of the series, and the White Sox superior bats should prevail.
Sunday will be the best of the series, as Royals ace James Shields battles with White Sox ace Chris Sale at 1:10 p.m. Shields lost his first game, and Sale won his first, but these two pitchers should make for an interesting game. However, the Royals lineup should have improved by this point, and they should take this low-scoring game.
By the end of Sunday, the Royals should have won their first series of the season. One of the key factors in this is finding our offense we had in Spring Training. There has only been two games so far, so there is nothing to freak out about yet. However, after this weekend, the Royals should be back in order, or else there will be bigger problems than winning this series.