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Both the Chicago White Sox and Royals have been trying to creep their way back into a wide-open American League Central race — Kansas City Royals comes in having won back-to-back games against Boston, while Chicago took its last two against division leader Cleveland to climb back within three games of first. Each team has endured a cold streak this season, with the White Sox losing 11 of 14 before its current win streak and the Royals dropping 12 straight at one point last month, including their first 10 home games of the year.
As was the case a year ago, Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the major leagues in most pitching categories, including quality starts (nine), ERA (4.83) and WHIP (1.51). Chicago, meanwhile, has gotten excellent starting pitching and ranks first in the American League in opponent batting average (.226) and second in strikeouts (245). The Royals have won five of their last seven overall against the White Sox. The road team has won three of the last four meetings between the teams.
Royals White Sox Betting
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, May 11, 2012
Where: U.S Cellular Field, Chicago, Illinois
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, Fox Sports (Kansas City), Comcast Sports (Chicago)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Felipe Paulino (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. White Sox RH Gavin Floyd (4-0, 4.15 ERA)
After spending the first month of the season on the disabled list with an injured forearm, Paulino made an impressive debut in a May 5 win over New York, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out six over six shutout innings. He is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two career starts against the White Sox, giving up three runs each in a pair of six-inning efforts.
Floyd has pitched well of late, giving up just four runs in 21 innings over his last three starts while striking out 21 and walking three. He is just 1-1 in those games, though, thanks to an offense that gives him the fifth-worst run support in the majors. Floyd has had trouble with Kansas City in the past, going 3-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 13 lifetime starts.
1. Kansas City has won five of Paulino’s last six starts dating back to last season, a stretch that includes a 7-6 victory over Chicago last Sept. 16.
2. Though he still leads the majors by a wide margin with 47 strikeouts, White Sox DH Adam Dunn has already hit almost as many home runs in 2012 (10) as he did all of last season (11).
3. Royals RF Jeff Francoeur is 5-for-9 (.556) with a home run against Floyd. The rest of the Kansas City roster is a combined 28-for-105 (.267) with three homers and 19 strikeouts.