Series preview: Royals at Indians (July 4-July 6)

Salvador Perez and Omar Infante - Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After a pair of three city road trips, the Indians return home for their first extended stay at home of the season. First up will be the division rival Royals.

The Kansas City Royals make their second visit to Progressive Field this weekend. The Royals swept a two-game set in mid-June.

  • Friday's game is at 7:05 PM (Ventura vs. Tomlin) [MLB.tv free game of the day]
  • Saturday's game is at 7:05 PM (Guthrie vs. House)
  • Sunday's game is at 1:05 PM (Duffy vs. Kluber)

Once the Royals head out, the Yankees and White Sox come to town before the All-Star break.

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

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

44-40

Runs/Game

4.1

9th

Runs/Game

4.0

3rd

AL Central

2nd

OBP

314

13th

H/9

8.7

6th

Last 10

5-5

SLG

374

13th

BB/9

2.8

4th

Last 30

18-12

Steals

66

2nd

SO/9

7.3

11th

When last we met, Kansas City was in the midst of a real hot streak, reeling off thirteen of fifteen games. But just as hot as they were then, they have cooled off considerably since, losing eight of thirteen. That hot streak coincided with their offense finally getting untracked a bit as their runs/game have jumped from fourteenth to ninth. And they have finally found their long ball, hitting 20 homers in their past 21 games after hitting just 28 in the first 63.

The pitching has held steady since the last series, allowing three runs or less in eleven of those games, and giving up seven or more just three times. Defensively, they sit at ninth in errors and fielding percentage. Also, the Royals are one of the healthiest squads in MLB with just two guys on the DL.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Salvador Perez

R

307

283

780

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

374

256

654

2B

Omar Infante

R

278

252

663

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

237

186

603

SS

Alcides Escobar

R

321

295

746

LF

Alex Gordon

L

307

267

780

CF

Jerrod Dyson

L

140

298

708

RF

Lorenzo Cain

R

235

309

776

DH

Billy Butler

R

306

268

669

IF

Danny Valencia

R

90

289

719

C

Brett Hayes

R

40

103

304

IF

Christian Colon

R

2

000

000

DH

Raul Ibanez*

L

198

167

550

* include Angels stats

This is still a lineup that does not feature one 800 OPS bat for the season. However, they have been hitting the ball much better in the past three weeks. For example, Moustakas has a slash of 250/311/411 in his past 19 games which is oodles better than his season numbers. Perez, Butler, Escobar and Ibanez all have a 800+ OPS in those past 19 games.

There have been a few roster changes. Nori Aoki landed on the DL so Dyson is now playing regularly. Pedro Ciriaco and Justin Maxwell both were DFA'ed. The Royals also signed Ibanez after the Angels cut him. Colon just made his MLB debut.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

James Shields

R

3.93

116.2

1.329

7.1

Jason Vargas

L

3.32

119.1

1.223

6.0

Yordano Ventura

R

3.26

88.1

1.268

7.7

Jeremy Guthrie

R

3.69

112.1

1.220

5.4

Danny Duffy

L

2.60

72.2

1.073

6.8

Greg Holland

R

1.93

32.2

1.041

13.8

Aaron Crow

R

2.60

34.2

1.067

4.9

Wade Davis

R

1.23

36.2

0.845

14.2

Kelvin Herrera

R

2.23

36.1

1.239

7.7

Bruce Chen

L

7.40

24.1

1.726

9.6

Francisley Bueno

L

0.93

9.2

1.345

3.7

Casey Coleman

R

0.00

2.2

0.750

0.0

The rotation has been excellent this year as all have ERAs under 4.00. However, they don't look nearly as good in FIP (3.80 and above) except for Ventura who matches his ERA very closely at 3.29. Ventura had a very good June, 2.90 ERA in five starts but his K rate was down. He dominated the Indians on June 11, seven innings, one run, six hits, no walks and three strikeouts. Likewise, Guthrie also had a very good June, 2.88 ERA in his five starts. But he took the loss in Cleveland back in the April 21 4-3 Tribe win. Duffy had a rough patch at the end of May, but was sparkling in June, 1.69 ERA in six starts. He pitched two shutout innings against the Indians in April in relief. His only two starts against Cleveland came back in 2011.

Holland got a save against Cleveland in his only opportunity in that June 11 game and hasn't blown a save since May 5, although he did take the loss against Seattle recently. Davis has been amazing this year, but the Tribe did manage to score a run off him and tally four hits in two innings of work. Likewise, Crow has been very good as well, but Cleveland scored the last runs off of him on June 10, although he did get the save in that game.

On the Shelf

  • RF Nori Aoki [15 day DL], no timetable for return
  • RP Luke Hochevar [60 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

3

3

500

22

28

391

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

316

300

513

2878

2676

533

*Does not include 2014 stats

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