White Sox Opening Day Notes @ Kansas City
➢ The White Sox and Royals will face off on Opening Day for the second straight year, after the White Sox won last year’s opener, 14-7. The Sox won the season series, 11-8, after winning each of the first five road games against the Royals.
➢ Chicago finished 2018 with a 62-100 record, third worst in MLB just ahead of Kansas City at 58-104 and Baltimore at 47-115. It was the White Sox’s fifth-worst record in franchise history and worst since a 56-106 campaign in 1970.
➢ The Royals’ 58-104 record in 2018 was tied for their second worst in franchise history, just ahead of the 2005 season (56-106). They finished the year on a positive note, going 20-14 over the last 34 games of the season, holding opponents to just 4.2 runs per game.
➢ Jose Abreu played a career-low 128 games in 2018 but hit 22 home runs, his fifth consecutive season with 20+ homers. He is one of just six active players to hit at least 20 home runs in each of his first five MLB seasons.
➢ Brad Keller started 20 games as a rookie last season after entering the starting rotation in late May. He allowed just seven home runs in 140.1 innings for a 0.45 HR/9 rate, second best in MLB behind Jacob deGrom (minimum 125.0 innings pitched).
➢ Whit Merrifield led MLB in stolen bases last season with 45, the most in a single season by a Royal since Johnny Damon in 2000 (46). He also lead MLB in hits with 192, becoming the seventh player in history to lead the league in both hits and stolen bases and the first AL player to do so since Ichiro Suzuki in 2001.