Kansas City Royals Lineup: 1. LF: Alex Gordon 2. SS: Alcides Escobar 3. DH: Billy Butler 4. 3B: Mike Moustakas 5. C: Salvador Perez 6. 1B: Eric Hosmer 7. CF: Lorenzo Cain 8. RF: Jeff Francoeur 9. 2B: Chris Getz SP: James Shields
Chicago White Sox Lineup: 1. CF: Alejandro De Aza 2. 3B: Jeff Keppinger 3. RF: Alex Rios 4. DH: Adam Dunn 5. 1B: Paul Konerko 6. LF: Dayan Viciedo 7. SS: Alexei Ramirez 8. C: Tyler Flowers 9. 2B: Gordon Beckham SP: Chris Sale
The wait is finally over; Opening Day is here. One of the more interesting Opening Day matchups today is the Kansas City Royals vs. the Chicago White Sox.
The Royals head into 2013 much improved from a team that finished 72-90 last year. Adding two All-Star arms in Ervin Santana and James Shields, the Royals’ starting staff is finally respectable. Shields will get the nod in today’s opener, making it his 1st Opening Day start with the Royals and 5th overall. The Royals are 15-29 on Opening Day, which is the worst record in MLB history.
Basically giving away the division in the final weeks of September last season, the White Sox might be the most excited team to finally get 2013 started. The South Siders crushed all expectations in 2012, winning 85 games and finishing 2nd in the AL Central. Picked once again to finish in the middle of the division, the Sox come into 2013 with the same goal of proving everyone wrong. Chris Sale will make his first ever Opening Day start this afternoon. Sale, who signed a long-term deal this spring, is coming off a 17-win season, and is geared to become the Sox ace in 2013. The White Sox own a 58-54 Opening Day record, including 4-1 lifetime at U.S. Cellular Field.
With the forecast calling for temperatures in the low 40s on Chicago’s South Side, the Sox will look to take down the Royals, which was easier said than done in 2012. The Sox went 6-12 against Kansas City a year ago, which some pointed to as the reason the Pale Hose missed the playoffs.
Despite the cold weather, a sold out crowd is expected to be rocking come 3PM CT at U.S. Cellular Field. With both teams optimistic about their 2013 chances, this afternoon marks day one of a long 162 game journey.