With a win today, the Kansas City Royals can win their first series since April 7th-9th against the Giants. We’ll preview their game against the White Sox this afternoon before going over my play for the action.
Kansas City is currently ranked 24th in average runs per game, yet in two of the three games they have played so far in this series, they have scored 9 and 12 runs. In last night's game, the Royals jumped on the White Sox early by putting up a four spot in the first inning. They would finish the game with nine runs and 14 hits, all while Brad Keller and the bullpen held Chicago to just one run on six hits.
Getting the ball for Kansas City today as they look to win the series will be right-hander Brady Singer. In seven starts this season, Singer has thrown a total of 33.7 innings and put up an 8.82 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 12 walks. The right-hander has allowed five or more hits in six of his last seven starts and was pulled after four innings in his most recent outing after allowing five earned runs to the Oakland A’s.
Singer faces a White Sox offense that has been wildly inconsistent up to this point and currently ranks 18th in average runs per game. There is no denying the talent in the lineup, yet Chicago is near the bottom of the league in hard-hit percentage, BAbip, and OPS+. In last night’s game, the White Sox struck out 11 times and left 18 runners on base.
This afternoon, Mike Clevinger will make his eighth start on the mound for the White Sox. In 35.3 innings of work, the righty has pitched to a 4.84 ERA with 33 strikeouts and 16 walks. Clevinger picked up a loss in his most recent start as he pitched six innings and struck out seven but let up four earned runs and six hits to the Reds.
The total for the first five innings is currently set at 4.5, and I’ll be taking the over as my play. Chicago is 11th in average runs per game in the first five innings, and the F5 over is 22-15 in their games this season, while the F5 over is 20-14-4 for Kansas City. Both starting pitchers have tended to struggle out of the gate, and I think that could be the case again today.
Kansas City allows an average of 3.41 runs per game in the first five innings when playing at home, and today’s starter is a big contributing factor to that number. Brady Singer has an ERA of 6.43 or higher for each of the first four innings, and when pitching at home, he has a 9.00 ERA. The right-hander is currently in the first percentile for hard hit percentage and average exit velocity while also being in the third percentile in expected slugging percentage.
As for Chicago, they have allowed an average of 3.50 runs per game in the first five innings, which is 26th in the league. Mike Clevinger has a 5.91 ERA on the road and a 5.14 ERA or higher in three out of the first five innings. Entering today, Clevinger is also in the 33rd percentile for barrel percentage and expected slugging percentage.
F5 Over 4.5