Series preview: Indians vs. Royals (April 21-24)

"Power" hitter Alcides Escobar after a homer - Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The Indians complete this homestand with a visit from our division rivals, the Kanas City Royals.

The Tribe finish this homestand with a four game visit from the Royals. They are the only division rival we have yet to face this year.

  • Monday's game is at 7:05 PM (Guthrie vs. McAllister)
  • Tuesday's game is at 7:05 PM (Shields vs. Salazar)
  • Wednesday's game is at 7:05 PM (Vargas vs. Masterson)
  • Thursday's is at 12:05 PM (Chen vs. Kluber)

Without a day off, they head back to the west coast for visits to the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels.

Division Watch: White Sox at Tigers, Twins at Rays.

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

9-8

Runs/Game

3.6

14th

Runs/Game

3.6

2nd

AL Central

2nd

OBP

311

11th

H/9

7.2

1st

Last 10

6-4

SLG

347

14th

BB/9

3.1

7th

Last 30

-

Steals

6

12th

SO/9

8.3

8th

*all stats through Saturday's games except overall record

After getting swept in Minnesota two weekends ago, the Royals got healthy by sweeping the Astros and taking two of three from the Twins last weekend. The offense is really struggling, so the pitching staff is what has been keeping them afloat. Similar to the Tribe, the Royals only employ a three man bench and an eight man pen. The biggest difference between the teams would be on the defensive side, where they likely have better defenders at most positions, at least reputation wise.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Salvador Perez

R

66

259

728

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

67

279

688

2B

Omar Infante

R

60

291

732

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

59

135

509

SS

Alcides Escobar

R

57

278

655

LF

Alex Gordon

L

65

300

788

CF

Jerrod Dyson

L

8

125

250

RF

Nori Aoki

L

64

276

730

DH

Billy Butler

R

66

193

483

IF

Danny Valencia

R

11

273

818

OF

Justin Maxwell

R

15

077

277

C

Brett Hayes

R

1

000

000

Dyson is supposed to be returning from a bereavement leave for Monday's game. If he does not arrive, Maxwell will likely start in center with minor leaguer Jimmy Paredes on the bench. Perez has rested for just 4.2 innings all season so far while Hosmer and Escobar have played every inning.

Perennial breakout stars Moustakas and Hosmer are really struggling out of the gate, just like Swisher and Santana for the Tribe. It also is a bad sign when stick-bat Escobar is outhitting both. Old friend Infante was signed this off season and another shrewd pickup was Aoki in the outfield.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

James Shields

R

2.00

29.0

0.963

8.7

Jason Vargas

L

1.24

27.0

0.931

5.0

Bruce Chen

L

6.60

15.0

1.867

9.6

Yordano Ventura

R

0.69

13.0

0.692

9.0

Jeremy Guthrie

R

4.34

18.2

1.286

5.3

Greg Holland

R

2.57

7.0

1.143

15.4

Aaron Crow

R

0.00

6.0

0.833

6.0

Wade Davis

R

2.89

9.1

0.964

14.5

Kelvin Herrera

R

3.38

5.1

1.313

11.8

Louis Coleman

R

3.86

2.1

1.286

3.9

Michael Mariot

R

9.00

2.0

2.000

9.0

Danny Duffy

L

0.00

6.1

0.789

12.8

Justin Marks

L

13.50

2.0

3.500

9.0

We miss the flamethrower Ventura, who is definitely outshining Salazar so far this year. But that also means we will get both lefties, Chen and Vargas, and this year we have not hit lefties well at all, 218/292/333. It also llikely means one of our hottest hitteres, Chisenhall will sit twice.

But overall the pitching staff has been nothing short of fantastic so far this young season. But I doubt a lot of those low WHIPs will be sustainable to that awesome of a degree. Hopefully they will regress during this series.

On the Shelf

  • CF Lorenzo Cain [15 day DL], possible May return
  • RP Tim Collins [15 day DL] , possible late April return
  • RP Francisley Bueno [15 day DL] , possible late April return
  • RP Luke Hochevar [15 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

-

-

-

-

-

-

2013

10

9

526

81

83

489

Last 5*

50

41

549

484

422

562

Last 10*

105

78

574

985

821

583

All-Time

313

297

513

2856

2648

535

*Does not include 2014 stats

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