Series Preview: Kansas City Royals (18-10, 0.5 GA) vs. Detroit Tigers (18-11, 0.5 GB)

tigers vs royalsThe Royals are coming to Detroit after a 2-1 series win with the Indians and now lead the AL Central by a half game over Detroit.  The Royals are 6-4 in their past 10, although just 7-5 on the road this season.  Their +43 run differential can be tied to both very good pitching and a very good offense.  The Royals now rank 3rd in runs scored (143), have the best team batting average at .290, rank 1st in On Base Percentage at .345, and rank 4th in Slugging Percentage at .433.  The pitching is just as good, however the starters tend to leave games a bit earlier as they have just 10 quality starts (28th), rank 6th in team ERA at 3.36, rank 5th in WHIP at 1.13, and rank 2nd in batting average against at .221.  As mentioned the team is very well balanced and led by first baseman Eric Hosmer and Edinson Volquez on the pitching staff.

The Tigers are coming off a disappointed series loss to the Chicago White Sox after giving the game away Wednesday night, and holding on yesterday for the first series win.  Detroit is just 5-5 in their last 10 (all on the road), and play about the same at home with a 8-5 record with a +9 run differential.  The offense seems to go missing at times, yet still ranks 9th in runs scored (129), 3rd in team batting average (.275), 2nd in On Base Percentage (.344), and 7th in Slugging Percentage (.418).  Pitching has been the troubling piece to the season with a team ERA that has climbed to 3.99 (17th), a 1.23 WHIP (11th), a .250 batting average against (15th), with the saving grace being the solid work of the starters who have turned in 17 quality starts (5th)

My key player of the series: J.D. Martinez

Pitching Match-ups @ Comerica Park

5/8, 7:08p – Yordano Ventura (2-2, 4.94 ERA) vs. David Price (3-1, 2.92 ERA)

5/9, 1:08p – Jeremy Guthrie (1-2, 6.52 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (2-3, 5.11 ERA)

5/10, 8:00p – Jason Vargas (3-1, 5.26 ERA) vs. Shane Greene (3-2, 5.56 ERA)

Season Series: Split 2-2

Comerica Park (2)

Who to Watch KC (Last 7 Days)

  1. Eric Hosmer, 1B – Hosmer has been on fire as of late, hitting .375 and collecting 20 total bases in the past week. Included in that tear are 3 doubles, a triple, and 2 home runs, to go with 8 runs batted in
  2. Kendrys Morales, DH – Morales has been hitting the ball well lately, with a .300 average this past week that include a double and a home run to go with 6 runs driven in

Who to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)

  1. Ian Kinsler, 2B – Kinsler’s been hitting the ball really well as of late, with his .333 average over the last week not really justifying what he’s done due to a couple “at-him balls”.
  2. Victor Martinez, DH – Victor is hitting .273 over the past week, but did connect for his first home of the season and was the only Tiger in double digits in total bases (10) in six games played. Victor added 5 run batted in to help his cause
  3. David Price, SP – Price threw a gem against KC his last time out, getting the complete game and giving up just a late game home runs as the only run the Royals got. Even though he dominated, it was through ground balls and not strike outs as he had just 3.

Who Not to Watch KC (Last 7 Days)

  1. Omar Infante, 2B – Omar has gotten just 2 hits in his last 19 at bats (.105 avg) and struck out 5 times
  2. Alex Gordon, OF – Gordon isn’t doing much better than Omar, as he’s hitting just .174 in the past week with 8 k’s
  3. Jeremy Guthrie, SP – The Tigers hit Guthrie pretty well this past Sunday, collecting 11 hits, 6 earned runs, a homer, while Jeremy only struck out 1

Who Not to Watch Detroit (Last 7 Days)

  1. D. Martinez, OF – Somethings not right with J.D. as he hasn’t gotten a hit in his last 17 at bats and hast struck out 12 times!!
  2. Nick Castellanos, 3B – Nick continues to find himself on this list, as he hit just .167 this past week with 4 hits in 24 at bats, to go along with 7 strike outs
  3. Shane Greene, SP – Just bad again, as the White Sox lit Shane up for 5 runs in 2.2 innings this past Tuesday. Oddly enough, he’s still throwing a bunch of ground balls (8-2) this past outing, but 4 walks caught up to him.

Series Prediction: KC wins 2-1

Next Series: 3 vs. Minnesota Twins (16-13)

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