Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Kansas City Royals, September 16-September 18

James Shields - Jason Miller

After losing two of three from them last week, the Indians conclude this road trip with revenge on the mind with the Kansas City Royals.

The Tribe enter this pivotal series, just a half game back of both the Rays and Rangers, while their foe, the Kansas City Royals sit three games behind the Indians. This three game set is for Monday through Wednesday, with all three games slated for 8:10 PM starts. After the game the Tribe head back home for their final homestand with a four game series with the Houston Astros and two gamer with the White Sox.

Scoreboard Watch: Yankees at Blue Jays, Mariners at Tigers, Orioles at Red Sox, Rangers at Rays, Angels at A's

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

78-71

Runs/Game

4.0

11th

Runs/Game

3.8

1st

AL Central

3rd

OBP

316

8th

H/9

8.6

6th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

380

14th

BB/9

2.9

5th

Last 30

16-14

Steals

141

1st

SO/9

7.5

9th

*all stats thru Saturday's games except records

Not much has changed in the numbers since we just saw them last week. After taking two of three at Progressive, they lost two of three in Detroit. One loss in this series could seriously damage their postseason changes and if they lose two of three, they are basically done as they are now 3.5 games back of the wild card, but more importantly behind three teams plus the Rays and Rangers.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

LF

Alex Gordon

L

640

271

330

433

107

2B

Emilio Bonifacio

S

406

241

292

338

72

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

622

305

359

453

121

DH

Billy Butler

R

609

291

378

418

118

C

Salvador Perez

R

473

288

321

422

102

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

469

233

288

360

76

RF

Lorenzo Cain

R

403

258

320

355

85

CF

Jarrod Dyson

L

215

268

325

376

92

SS

Alcides Escobar

R

598

237

261

304

54

The only change I made from the last preview was to switch in Cain for David Lough (91 OPS+). But I wouldn't be surprised to see both in this series.

The bench also consists of Justin Maxwell (146), Jamey Carroll (43), Chris Getz (58), Johnny Giavotella (42), George Kottaras (102), Pedro Ciriaco (3 PA), and Brett Hayes (14 PA).

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Sept 16

James Shields (Kazmir)

R

3.38

207.2

121

8.6

2.8

7.5

Sept 17

Danny Duffy (Kluber)

L

1.85

24.1

225

7.0

5.2

8.1

Sept 18

Bruce Chen (Salazar)

L

3.11

104.1

132

7.9

2.5

5.9

There is only one repeat matchup from last week, the opener against Shields. He beat us 6-2 in the last series, pitching eight dominant innings, four hits, two earned runs, one walk and seven strikeouts. That puts his season total against the Indians at 1-0 in four starts, 4.07 ERA in 24.1 innings, 1.397 WHIP and 7.0 K/9. Duffy was hurt most of 2012 and made 14 rehab starts in the minors before getting called back in August. He has made five starts since being recalled, with only two of them going more than five innings. He only has two career starts against the Tribe, 1-0, 5.23 ERA, 1.839 WHIP and 11.3 K/9. Chen started the season in the pen and moved into the rotation in mid-July. That first start was against us on July 12. He pitched almost perfectly, six shutout innings, one hit, one walk and four strikeouts. In his career against Cleveland, he has 18 appearances, 11 starts, 6-3 record, 4.33 ERA, 72.2 innings, 1.486 WHIP and 5.8 K/9.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Greg Holland

R

1.33

61.0

311

5.5

2.2

13.9

Luke Hochevar

R

1.67

64.2

247

5.0

2.2

10.2

Tim Collins

L

3.60

50.0

115

8.1

4.9

8.5

Holland hasn't blown a save since May and has only given up two earned runs in his last 31 appearances with a sparking 0.710 WHIP and 12.7 K/9. In all six games he has pitched in against the Indians, he has gotten saves. He did allow two unearned runs, but has given up four hits, no walks and struck out ten in those six innings. Since August 1, Hochevar has a 1.52 ERA in 23.2 innings covering 18 appearances, 0.719 WHIP and 12.2 K/9. He has also been stellar against the Indians this year. In eight appearances covering 10.1 innings, he has given up five hits, one walk and struck out eighteen. The only run he gave up was a solo shot by Michael Brantley. Collins has also had a decent second half. Since August 1, he has a 1.46 ERA in 12.1 innings over 15 appearances, ten hits, seven walks and eleven strikeouts. He has really struggled against the Tribe this year, seven earned runs in just 3.1 innings, six hits, four walks and just two strikeouts. He hasn't pitched since September 5 however. The rest of the bullpen includes Aaron Crow (117 ERA+), Luis Mendoza (77), Kelvin Herrera (112), Will Smith (152), Wade Davis (75), Luis Coleman (1186), Francisley Bueno (6.0 IP), and Donnie Joseph (5.2 IP)

On the Shelf

  • RP Felipe Paulino (July 2012 Tommy John surgery) - 60-day DL, done for season
  • P Noel Arguelles (groin) - 60-day DL, done for season
  • 1B Carlos Pena (appendectomy) - done for season

The Royals are still remarkably healthy going into this series.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

9

7

563

73

66

546

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

312

295

514

2848

2631

536

*Does not include 2013 stats

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