Cleveland Indians Series Preview: Kansas City Royals, September 9-September 11

Alex Gordon - Hannah Foslien

The Indians conclude this nine game homestand with a visit from division rival Kansas City Royals.

The Tribe try to keep their pursuit of the Wild Card race with a three game visit from the Kansas City Royals. The Monday and Tuesday games are scheduled for 7:05 PM starts and Wednesday game is set for 12:05 PM. After the game the Tribe head back on the road home for a seven game trip. The first stop will be the Windy City followed by ta visit to these Royals.

Scoreboard Watch: Yankees at Orioles, Red Sox at Rays, Pirates at Rangers, Tigers at White Sox, A's at Twins

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2013 Record

75-68

Runs/Game

4.0

11th

Runs/Game

3.8

1st

AL Central

3rd

OBP

315

9th

H/9

8.7

7th

Last 10

6-4

SLG

379

14th

BB/9

3.0

8th

Last 30

15-15

Steals

133

1st

SO/9

7.5

10th

*all stats thru Saturday's games except records

We haven't seen the Royals since just before the All Star break. After a really rough month of May (8-20), the Royals have been creeping back into the division/wild card picture. They were five games over .500 in both June and July. August was more of trading water (16-15) but they have gotten off to hot September start (6-2) and sit a mere 1.5 games behind the Indians. The offense is still very pedestrian with the baserunning of Dyson and Bonifacio the strongest aspect. Gordon is their best overall power guy (159 ISO), but is hitting leadoff. The pitching has settled into a middle of the pack outfit after a hot start to the season. Santana and the back end of the bullpen have been very good, but the rest of the pitching has struggled. The defense has been pretty decent, fifth in fielding percentage but only fourteenth in double plays turned.

Projected Lineup

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OBP

SLG

OPS+

LF

Alex Gordon

L

612

269

328

428

104

2B

Emilio Bonifacio

S

381

241

290

339

72

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

596

298

353

444

116

DH

Billy Butler

R

584

292

380

422

119

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

447

234

286

365

76

C

Salvador Perez

R

452

285

319

424

100

RF

David Lough

L

309

283

306

403

91

CF

Jarrod Dyson

L

196

261

321

364

86

SS

Alcides Escobar

R

576

233

259

296

51

This lineup still struggles to score runs and the only change since we last met is they traded for Bonifacio. He is an upgrade over Chris Getz (57 OPS+) and Elliot Johnson, but not by much. Gordon gets this offense going and he has sneaky power. He has quite a few leadoff home runs to start the game this year. Hosmer and Butler are the major run producers while the bottom third of the lineup is pretty mediocre. Installing Dyson as their center fielder has improved their running game quite a bit, but he still has Escobar hitting behind him. The bench consists of Lorenzo Cain (125 OPS+), J Maxwell (147), Jamey Carroll (44), Getz, Carlos Pena (97), George Kottaras (107), Pedro Ciriaco (3 PA), and Brett Hayes (14 PA).

Projected Starters

Date

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Sept 9

Ervin Santana (Jimenez)

R

3.33

184.0

125

8.8

2.8

7.5

Sept 10

Jeremy Guthrie (McAllister)

R

4.19

184.2

99

9.9

2.7

4.9

Sept 11

James Shields (Kazmir)

R

3.43

199.2

121

8.8

2.8

7.5

Although the scheduling gods have favored us most of the past month, in this series we will face their top three rotation guys. Santana has not been at the top of his game lately, with a 4.96 ERA and 1.653 WHIP in his past six starts. He has been absolutely filthy against us this year though. In two starts, although he only has one victory, in fourteen innings he has given up just nine hits, two walks, one run and struck out eleven. The former Indian, Guthrie. He has not been all that good since early August. He has given up five runs thrice and four runs once in four of his past six starts. In three starts against the Tribe this year, covering twenty innings, the Indians have nineteen hits, nine walks, ten runs and just eleven strikeouts. He is 1-1 overall in those three starts. Shields was absolutely hammered by the Tigers in his last outing, ten runs in just 3.2 innings. He has also struggled against the Tribe this season. He doesn't have a decision in three starts, but they have nine runs in just 16.1 innings, twenty hits, nine walks and twelve strikeouts.

Key Relievers

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

ERA+

H/9

BB/9

K/9

Greg Holland

R

1.42

57.0

294

5.5

2.2

14.1

Luke Hochevar

R

1.74

62.0

239

5.1

2.3

9.7

Tim Collins

L

3.60

50.0

116

8.1

4.9

8.5

Holland hadn't blown a save since May til last Thursday, and has only given up two runs in his last 28 appearances with a sparking 0.704 WHIP and 13.0 K/9. In all four 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 six in those four innings. Since August 1, Hochevar has a 1.71 ERA in 21 innings covering 16 appearances, 0.762 WHIP and 11.1 K/9. He has also been stellar against the Indians. In seven appearances covering 8.2 innings, he has given up five hits, one walk and struck out thirteen. 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. The rest of the bullpen includes Aaron Crow (118 ERA+), Luis Mendoza (78), Kelvin Herrera (121), Will Smith (152), Wade Davis (75), Luis Coleman (1153), Francis;ey Bueno (4.1 IP), and Donnie Joseph (4.2)

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

The Royals look remarkably healthy going into this series.

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2013

8

5

615

64

51

602

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

311

293

515

2839

2616

537

*Does not include 2013 stats

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