Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Kansas City Royals, July 2-July 4

Alex Gordon - Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians conclude this lengthy eleven game road trip with their second visit to the City of Fountains and the rival Royals.

The Tribe try to keep their grip on first place. They just took two of three from the Kansas City Royals a mere eleven games ago at Progressive Field. The Tuesday and Wednesday games are scheduled for 8:10 PM starts with the Independence Day game set for 2:10 PM. After the game the Tribe head home for a ten game homestand. The Detroit Tigers will be in for four games, followed by the Blue Jays for three and then these Royals take us to the All-Star break with three games.

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

38-41

Runs/Game

4.0

9th

Runs/Game

3.8

1st

AL Central

3rd

OBP

313

10th

H/9

8.6

2nd

Last 10

4-6

SLG

377

15th

BB/9

3.1

6th

Last 30

17-13

Steals

52

3rd

SO/9

7.4

11th

When we last met, the Royals were on a bit of hot streak. After losing two of three in Cleveland, they lost two of three to the White Sox, split a two gamer with the Braves and split a four gamer with the Twins, all at home. The hitting his inched up a tick, but is still mostly terrible. As long as the starters prevent Gordon and Butler from doing too much damage, this offense struggles to score. My pick for no name to give us trouble this series is Lough. On the pitching side, Guthrie and Wade Davis have regressed hard since April. Shields and Santana are carrying the rotation. The pen looks markedly improved. The defense hasn't been stellar, tenth in fielding percentage and double plays turned.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

LF

Alex Gordon

L

345

285

345

410

107

SS

Alcides Escobar

R

333

253

284

333

70

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

316

277

330

412

103

DH

Billy Butler

R

318

283

387

409

120

C

Salvador Perez

R

256

301

324

419

103

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

258

215

271

325

64

RF

David Lough

L

125

314

336

471

120

CF

Jarrod Dyson

L

56

278

304

556

130

2B

Johnny Giavotella

R

4

750

750

1000

377

Jeff Francoeur has finally been released to the joy of Royals fans everywhere. Johnny Giavotella has been called up and with how poorly Chris Getz was hitting (he was sent down after our last series) and Johnson has done, he should get a long look. And it appears that Dyson, after coming of the DL, is getting an extended look again. Expect to see Dyson, Lough and Cain cycling through the center and right field spots. The hiring of George Brett hasn't paid a ton of dividends. There has been improvement, just not massive improvement yet. Ned Yost has adjusted his lineup. He moved Escobar back to the 2-hole, slid Hosmer to third and Perez down to fifth. Lough has taken over for Francouer and Johnson seems to have replaced Getz. The bench consists of Lorenzo Cain (91 OPS+), Miguel Tejada (91), Elliot Johnson (50) and George Kottaras (69).

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

July 2

Luis Mendoza (Kluber)

R

4.16

75.2

98

9.0

3.6

5.8

July 3

Jeremy Guthrie (Kazmir)

R

4.11

100.2

99

9.4

3.2

4.4

July 4

James Shields (Jimenez)

R

2.99

117.1

136

8.0

2.5

8.0

Mendoza took the loss in his only 2013 appearance against the Tribe in the June 19 matchup, giving up four runs in five innings, four hits, three walks, three strikeouts and a home run to Michael Brantley. Shields got the win in the June 17 game, but was far from dominant. He only gave up four hits, but walked four, struck out five in six innings and gave up a solo shot to Carlos Santana. is having an All-Star caliber season except for the 2-6 record. The former Tribe first rounder, Guthrie won the opener of the April 28 doubleheader, 9-0. He allowed six hits, three walks and struck out five in 6.2 innings. Thankfully we miss Ervin Santana this time around. We have a good shot at another series win with Mendoza and Guthrie in the first two.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Greg Holland

R

2.10

30.0

196

5.7

3.3

15.0

Aaron Crow

R

3.70

24.1

112

8.9

3.7

7.0

Tim Collins

L

3.41

29.0

121

7.4

5.0

8.7

Holland has gotten two saves in two chances against us in 2013. He has pitched two scoreless innings with two unearned runs, three hits and three strikeouts. Crow also has two scoreless outings, one hit, two strikeouts in 1.2 innings. He nabbed the win in the most recent Shields start. Collins has three scoreless innings covering four appearances. He has given up two hits, an intentional walk and struck out two. The rest of the bullpen includes Luke Hochevar (173 ERA+), Bruce Chen (185), JC Gutierrez (141) and Will Smith (136).

On the Shelf

  • RP Felipe Paulino (July 2012 Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, on AA rehab

The Royals look to be fairly healthy going into this series.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

4

3

571

32

23

647

2012

8

10

444

114

103

546

Last 5*

50

40

556

501

419

581

Last 10*

101

82

552

983

830

577

All-Time

307

291

513

2807

2588

537

*Does not include 2013 stats

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