We’re about 20 percent of the way through the season and rookie White Sox first baseman Jose Abreu leads baseball with 12 home runs, which is also the same number of home runs the Kansas City Royals have combined to hit as a team. Seriously.
Abreu has 12 homers in 141 plate appearances.
Kansas City has 12 homers in 1,109 plate appearances.
Here are the league leaders if we pretend for a moment that the Royals are one individual person who just weighs a lot and has 50 sets of limbs:
Jose Abreu 12
Kansas City Royals 12
Albert Pujols 10
Giancarlo Stanton 10
Jose Bautista 9
Nelson Cruz 9
Adrian Gonzalez 9
To put the Royals’ lack of power in some team-based context, consider that the Rockies have hit 44 home runs and the average non-Royals team has hit 28 home runs.
MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.
Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.
Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.
Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.
The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.