White Sox rate season series against Royals 9 out of 10

With their 8-2 victory over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday, the White Sox matched their 2019 win total against Kansas City with nine.

That doesn’t sound all that impressive until realizing the teams only played 10 times this year.

The White Sox went 9-1 this year against the Royals, putting a dent in a series record that hadn’t been particularly kind to the South Siders over the last decade.

YearWinsLossesRSRA
20117117491
20126125278
20139105657
20146136493
20157127679
20165146785
201710910789
201811810481
20199108190
2020917140
Total79100752783

It should also put to rest the idea of Kansas City as a graveyard for White Sox hopes. “Royals” rhymes with “spoils,” and the noun and verb combined to ruin previous seasons on the South Side. In 2012, the White Sox sputtered to a 6-12 record against a 90-loss KC team that dropped 13 of 18 games against Detroit. That’s a seven-game difference, and the Tigers only won the Central by three games that year.

They also had a habit of humiliating the Robin Ventura teams, peaking with the ninth-inning collapse on May 28, 2016, a date I’ll always remember for putting in my air conditioner.

Every win against any major league team counts the same, so there’s no knocking the White Sox’s bumslaying ways. And regarding this particular opponent, there’s no shame or guilt in burying the Royals until they’re touching the Earth’s core. However the AL Central turns out, the White Sox won’t have any Royal remorse. Minnesota went 5-5 against KC, while the Indians are 4-2 with four to play.

THE GAMES

DEFINING HITTERS

*Tim Anderson: Went 15-for-35 with a homer and four doubles, good for a .429/.447/.629 line. The only regret is that he didn’t get a chance to face Brad Keller.

*Luis Robert: Homered four times and drew six walks against the Royals in 10 games, boosting the latter two columns in his .300/.404/.650 line. One of those homers was a walk-off in extra innings, but he also managed to clinch a game with a tremendous diving catch in center.

*Yasmani Grandal drove in 10 runs over nine games via his .368/.455/.579 line, giving him an edge over James McCann, who struggled to do much with his contact (2-for-15, one walk, three strikeouts).

*Edwin Encarnación hit .259/.364/.593 with three homers over seven games against the Royals, who are keeping his season afloat. He’s hitting .152/.227/.392 against everybody else, which is a great ISO if nothing else.

*Alex Gordon went 9-for-26 with two homers, a double and six walks in eight games against the White Sox. He’s replacement-level on the season, but the Sox didn’t see that guy, aside from a couple of fly balls a younger Gordon might have flagged down.

*Adalberto Mondesi, conversely, painted a very representative picture as to why Royals fans are so frustrated with him. He hit .211/.231/.253 with 13 strikeouts to a walk over 40 plate appearances, all of which are in the neighborhood of his 2020 rates and ratios. But he also looked worse than that in real time. He squared around for a couple of useless bunts, including one popped up with two outs and a runner on first with the Royals trailing by one. He was also caught stealing to start extra innings.

*Whit Merrifield was held in check, as he hit .182/.234/.386. Three homers made him feel dangerous, but he went just 1-for-18 over the final four-game series, and we hadn’t seen him so frustrated.

DEFINING PITCHERS

*Dallas Keuchel pitched up two wins in two starts, allowing just two runs and 10 baserunners over 10⅓ innings. It’s just a shame that his back issues prevented him from building on his five scoreless innings Sunday.

*Evan Marshall appeared in six of 10 games, and the Royals would have preferred seeing less of him. He allowed just a hit and a walk over 6⅓ innings while striking out nine.

*Zack Burdi should be able to improve upon his KC-specific ERA in 2021, because it’s at 135 right now.

*Josh Staumont looked unhittable … until the White Sox saw him on consecutive days. His average fastball velocity dropped from 99 to 97, the slider bounced or rolled, and the Sox tagged him for three runs. This appears to be a concern.

*Kris Bubic moves around the mound as though he’s wearing ill-fitting underwear and none of his pitches register as remarkable to the eye, but he threw strikes and pitched inside well to right-handed hitters, which allowed him to work deeper into each of his three starts against the White Sox. He has the makings of a Very AL Central pitcher for years to come.

DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS

*Slogs: Only one of the 10 games wrapped up in under three hours, and only by four minutes. The average White Sox-Royals game in 2020 lasted three hours and 28 minutes.

*Men on base: For all that’s been made of the White Sox’s reliance on the long ball, the White Sox only outhomered the Royals by one over the 10 games, 14-13. The White Sox just made more of theirs.

TeamSolo2-run3-run
White Sox545
Royals931

A 53-point gap in OBP will do that. The White Sox had a .374 OBP against Royals pitching, compared to a .321 OBP the other way.

*Luis Robert: One more time.

(Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire)

Take a second to support Sox Machine on Patreon
Default image
Jim Margalus

Writing about the White Sox for a 16th season, first here, then at South Side Sox, and now here again. Let’s talk curling.

Articles: 3558
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Greg Nix

Speaking of Encarnacion, he’s been roughly approximating preseason expectations lately (although the line still has a slightly weird shape).

First 15 games: .154/.228/.288
Last 14 games: .204/.302/.593

As Cirensica

I can live with the last 14 games, specially with that slugging % which is not too shabby.

shaggy65

That .389 iso is, uh, pretty…pretty good

carbiner

He’s been doing okay, just need like an extra 50 points of OBP and for slugging to normalize to regular EE numbers.

burning-phoneix

Three true outcomes? More like One true outcome.

asinwreck

It is nice to see the Sox rack up the wins against weak teams this year.

Speaking of weak teams this year, the Yankees went into the bottom of the 6th inning against the Blue Jays up 6-2. So far, they have recorded one out in the sixth and the Blue Jays now lead 12-6. The YES announcers find this, and I quote Michael Kay here, absolutely stunning.

As Cirensica

The Yankees are in big troubles. Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez have been atrocious. Gerrit Cole has been so-so. Their bullpen is all banged up (and really really really bad). Judge/Stanton are great but they can’t stay healthy. Gardner taking 112 is far from optimal (Think of Nicky Delmonico with a better glove at this point of Gardner’s career) I actually read an article the other day where the Yankees might even not make it to the playoff with the current team.

Vlad Jr stole a base! When that happens, you know you are in deep shit.

metasox

If the Yankees don’t make the cut, maybe Manfred will find a way to sneak them in.

texag10

I’ve not watched Cole this year so I can only box score scout and he’s just getting hit harder for whatever reason. Combine that with his new home park and he is giving up way more homers than any other year in his career. Gotta wonder how much of that is driven by Sanchez, who has never been considered a good defensive catcher.

As Cirensica

He hasn’t been bad, but it is not the pitcher the Yankees are paying loads of cash. On the other hand, the signing of Ryu by the Bluejays, thus far, seems like a steal. Ryu has been quietly (very quietly), one of the best pitchers in baseball this year