Back in late March when young Chicago White Sox star slugger Eloy Jimenez ruptured his left pectoral tendon trying to make a play in the outfield during a Cactus League game, there was the possibility that his season was over. However, the 2020 Silver Slugger Award winner will make his big-league season debut on Monday as the Pale Hose visit the Kansas City Royals. The Sox are favored on the William Hill Sportsbook MLB odds.
Last year, Jimenez hit .296 with 14 homers and 41 RBI in 55 games and the year before hit .267 with 31 homers and 79 RBI in 122 games when he finished fourth in the AL Rookie of the Year voting. Jimenez played 12 games of minor-league rehab and hit .289/.327/.467 with two doubles and two homers and had a nine-game hitting streak in Triple-A.
Jimenez simply is not a good defensive player and it's probable that the White Sox don't use him in the outfield much going forward just for his own safety. He will be at DH on Monday. The Sox used Yermin Mercedes at DH to open the season, and he got off to an electric start before fading badly and is now in the minors. Another terrific young hitter, outfielder Luis Robert, tore his right hip flexor in early May and is working his way back.
Despite missing those two, Chicago (59-40) is leading the AL Central by an MLB-best nine games over second-place Cleveland. The Sox are massive -3000 favorites at William Hill to win the Central for the first time since 2008.
Chicago starts lefty Dallas Keuchel (7-3, 4.22) in this one. The former Cy Young winner is 1-2 with a 5.70 ERA and .304 opponents' batting average over his past five outings. He is 6-1 with a 2.48 ERA in 11 career starts against the Royals and 4-1 with a 3.07 ERA in five career starts at Kauffman Stadium. The only Royals player to homer off him is Carlos Santana, who is 4-for-18 with a solo shot. Salvador Perez is just 4-for-27 off Keuchel.
Royals left-hander Mike Minor (7-8, 5.45) hasn't been very good often this year but was last time out, allowing one earned run over six in an upset win at Milwaukee. He is 1-1 with a 3.94 ERA in three starts in 2021 vs. the White Sox. Jose Abreu is the lone White Sox player with a homer off Minor career, going 2-for-11 with a solo shot.
The White Sox are 6-3 vs. the Royals this year and 3-0 in Kansas City. Chicago is 15-4 vs. the Royals since the start of 2020, including a 10-game winning streak at Kauffman Stadium.
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