White Sox vs Royals - Strong Home Record Worth Backing For Monday Afternoon

Yordano Ventura pitching during a Royals' game

Monday, September 19, 2016 2:05 PM GMT

Our MLB handicapper looks to end the season on a strong note and finds two teams with performance splits that give value to one side in Monday afternoon's matchup between the White Sox and Royals.

 

CH White Sox vs Kansas City Royals
As the 2016 season comes to a close, the Kansas City Royals (76-73) find themselves on the outside looking in, 5 games back of the 2nd wild card spot and in 3rd place in the AL Central. The Chicago White Sox (72-77) have it worse, a full 14 games back in the AL Central and without enough season left to catch a wild card spot. With that, the two teams play hooky from work to play a matinee game on Monday afternoon in Kansas City. Both of these teams run very strong home field advantages, with the opposite effect while on the road. Kansas City is a very strong 44-30 at Kaufmann Stadium, while the White Sox are an almost identical 31-44 on the road.

Getting the start for the Chicago White Sox in this game is Carlos Rondon, a 23-year old left-hander who can bring a mid-90’s fastball from the left side. But it isn’t the fastball that has gotten the attention of scouts lately, it is the increased use of his changeup. It is reported that Rondon nearly tripled his changeup usage in the month of August, a month in which he put up a 1.47 ERA over 30.2 innings pitched. That is the type of dominance that the White Sox hope they have in the young wunderkind, although it hasn’t spilled over to Rondon’s September starts. On the year over 147 innings pitched, the most in a season in his MLB career thus far, Rondon has posted a 4.04 ERA, 143/47 K/BB rate, 1.43 WHIP, and .277 batting average allowed. He struggles against right-handers, giving up a .290 batting average against in that split. Rondon has pitched better on the road by a slight margin this year, only giving up a 3.89 ERA in that situation. He was lit up in his last start against Cleveland though, giving up six runs and nine hits over 5.0 innings.

The Kansas City Royals counter in this game with the right-hander, Yordano Ventura, who also got lit up in his last start, a 4.1 inning effort in which he gave up 5 earned runs to the Oakland Athletics. Ventura has lost 2 decisions in a row and is 10-11 on the year and has also posted a 4.42 ERA, 125/72 K/BB rate, 1.42 WHIP, and .253 batting average allowed. Ventura has seemed to have lost his command in September, where his 14.1% BB% is the worst of the year and much higher than the 9.3% he ran in August and sub-6% he put up in June and July.

The Kansas City Royals followed up 5 straight losses with two wins over the weekend against the White Sox, but the damage has been done on their season. In Sunday’s 10-3 win, Alex Gordon and Kendrys Morales went deep for the Royals as they banged out 12 hits in the game and only struck out twice against White Sox pitching. The White Sox, on the other hand, struck out 9 times in the game and left amazing 17 runners on base, as they could never cash in on the consistent pressure they put on the Royals pitching staff.

With the home and away splits for both teams, it is not a surprise that Kansas City is favored in this game at -125 at BookMaker. The O/U total has opened at 8.5 runs across the board but is a line that looks rather sharp with nearly 50/50 consensus on it as I write this. I’m leaning towards the home team in this game, as Rondon has seemed to come off the rails in recent starts. Take the Kansas City Royals at -125 at BookMaker as your Monday afternoon MLB Pick.  

 

Free MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals -125
Best Line Offered: at BookMaker which offers a 50% Free Play Bonus
2016 MLB Record: 53-40-4, +10.00 Units

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