The Detroit Tigers are coming to town this week, as the Royals have a chance to overtake first place in the Central. It’s the first matchup between the two, and could end up being a pivotal early series to start the month of May. The Royals are coming off a series win in Cleveland, so hopefully they can bring some momentum into the series.
The Royals won’t have Edinson Volquez, who chose to forgo an appeal to serve his five game suspension. Volquez would have started on Friday, but it will be Chris Young replacing him. We’ve only seen small outings from Young this year, but he’s fared decently well, with a 1-0 record and 1.86 ERA.
Alright, enough chatter, let’s break down the series.
Almost a month into the regular season, and the Royals are 12-6, a half game behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. Of course, they could be at least tied for first had they not s**t the bed this weekend in Chicago for a rainy, brawl-filled series. They travel to Cleveland to begin a three game series tomorrow before returning to Kauffman to take on the Tigers for the first time this year on Thursday.
It was more suspensions for the Royals this week, as Yordano Ventura got 7, Edinson Volquez got 5, and Kelvin Herrera and Lorenzo Cain each got 2. Herrera’s 2 games are on top of the five that he was suspended for throwing at Athletics’ Brett Lawrie last week. That will mean a missed start for both Ventura and Volquez, and 2 nights of lost offensive production. Of course, all players will be appealing their suspensions, so there is hope that maybe Cain can get his reduced to just a fine.
It will be the top three in the pitching rotation this weekend, which bodes well for the Royals (assuming Yordano Ventura keeps his composure) as they take on a Chicago White Sox team that is still trying to find their groove after a very busy offseason. The White Sox sit at 6-8 and are underperforming based on their offseason acquisitions, while the Royals continue their hot start, sitting at 11-4 and atop the AL Central.
If you haven’t read any of my series previews before, heres how it will go: I’ll break down each game and their pitching match-ups and try to sound somewhat knowledgable, then give an arbitrary prediction that will be way out of left field. Sound good? Great, let’s go then.
It was quite the week for the Royals, as they kind of went off the rails for a bit. After starting 7-0, they struggled against the Twins dropping what should have been an easy series, and barely escaped three scuffles with the A’s. They’re now 9-3 and sit in second place, trailing the Tigers by one game.
Of course, the most talked about storyline will be the heated series against Oakland, but I’m not going to talk about that. The dust has (hopefully) settled and the team will continue their homestand with a three game series against Minnesota beginning tomorrow. They dropped 2 of 3 to the Twins earlier this week, and it will be the bottom three in the rotation on the mound this time around.
One week into the season, and we’re seeing a Royals team we never could have imagined. They are 7-0, have sole possession of first place in the AL Central, lead the league in runs, and rank in the top 5 of nearly every offensive statistic.
Yes, it’s a small sample size, but it’s certainly unexpected considering that this same team ranked dead last in the league in home runs last year, and have hit 10 in their first 7 games this year. They are on pace to hit over 200 home runs, and while they most likely aren’t going to keep up that pace, the increased production is promising.