Royals vs White Sox Odds & Prediction: The Team Total to Bet

Royals vs White Sox Odds & Prediction: The Team Total to Bet article feature image

Pictured: Yoan Moncada. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

  • The White Sox host the Royals and are heavily favored on Saturday afternoon.
  • There isn't much value in backing the White Sox moneyline, so our betting expert is targeting a team total instead.
  • D.J. James breaks down this matchup and offers up his best bet for Royals vs. White Sox below.

Royals vs White Sox Odds

Saturday, May 20
2:10 p.m. ET
Royals Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
White Sox Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

Lucas Giolito looks like he has returned to his 2021 form as the most consistent pitcher on the Chicago White Sox. Yes, this isn't saying much, but his predictive metrics have been in line with results all season, and he should continue to dominate against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday.

Jordan Lyles will be the opposing pitcher, and he has been the exact opposite, posting a 9.37 ERA in May. It's not like the White Sox are a torrid hitting team, but they have started to hit better over the past week and even tagged Lyles for four earned runs on May 9.

The Sox have an extremely juiced line, so laying the number makes no sense. However, banking on Lyles to struggle again is fair, so playing the White Sox team total over is the correct play.

Kansas City Royals

Lyles has a 7.14 ERA with a 5.60 xERA on the season, so he's been unlucky, but 5.60 is still a terrible number. He ranks in the 58th percentile in Average Exit Velocity and the 64th percentile in Hard Hit Rate, but the rest of his peripherals aren't encouraging. He ranks in the ninth percentile in Barrel percentage and the eighth percentile in xSLG. He is also only striking out 16.8% of hitters.

The Royals batters have done a solid job in May. They have a 109 wRC+ with a .781 OPS against righties. They have six hitters on their roster with a 330+ xwOBA, too. That said, Giolito mixes in a slider and a changeup nearly 50% of the time. Only Salvador Pérez has a xwOBA over .310 against those pitches. Giolito will keep the Royals off balance.

In relief, the Royals have a bullpen xFIP of 4.44, which is not good. They are also walking 14.5% of hitters. They do have five active relievers under a 4.00 xFIP, but the White Sox fare better against lefties and two of these hurlers are southpaws.

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Chicago White Sox

Giolito is easily the better starter in this game. He has a 3.86 ERA and a 3.73 xERA. Last season, he had issues with his slider, but now, he is truly a three-pitch starter. In addition, he ranks in the top 35% of the league in Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate, while the Royals are in the middle of the pack in both.

The White Sox hitters have done well in the past week. They have a 124 wRC+ with a .817 OPS off of right-handers. This lineup still has issues with walking, but Lyles doesn't necessarily specialize in getting opponents to chase, so they should be fine. Chicago has four active hitters with a .330 (or better) xwOBA against righties, but Tim Anderson is finally starting to hit the ball, and Yoán Moncada and Gavin Sheets have also looked strong at the dish lately.


— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) May 18, 2023

In relief, the Sox struggled up front, but have since figured it out. Liam Hendriks should be back in the next couple of weeks, and they recently activated Garrett Crochet from the Injured List. In May, the White Sox have a sub-4.00 xFIP, so they are starting to stabilize.

Royals vs White Sox Betting Pick

This game is pretty lopsided, and the line is too weighted toward Chicago. Giolito should cruise, but Lyles should have trouble with the White Sox. Take the Sox to go over their team total at 5 (-105), and play them to 5.5 (-105).

Pick: Chicago White Sox Over 5 (-105) | Play to 5.5 (-105)

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