KC vs DET: Series Preview
As we cruise into Detroit riding a 7-game winning streak, things are about to get a lot tougher for Kansas City.
The Royals need to win at least two of these four games just to stay 1.5 games back of the Tigers for first place. As hot as they are, this seems like a doable task for the Royals.
Jason Vargas (6-2, 3.30 ERA) vs Justin Verlander (6-6, 4.61 ERA)
Justin Verlander has dominated the Royals in his career with a 17-5 record and a 2.89 ERA.. Vargas is 2-2 with a 5.01 ERA in his career. Jason Vargas has been very reliable in his last few starts. He is 2-0 with a 2.49 ERA. Just Verlander has not been very "Justin Verlander" in his last few starts. In his last three starts, Verlander is 1-2 with a 6.75 ERA.
Yordano Ventura ( 4-5, 3.20 ERA) vs Max Scherzer ( 8-2, 3.05 ERA)
This will be the game I am looking forward to the most. As much as I have loved seeing this offensive outburst, I have my sights set on a good, old-fashioned pitchers duel. Ventura has never faced the Tigers, but I have faith in Young Yordano that he will exceed my expectations. On the flip-side, Scherzer, like Verlander, has always been sharp against the Royals in his career. Scherzer is 9-4 with a 3.19 ERA.
Jeremy Guthrie ( 3-6 4.06 ERA) vs Drew Smyly ( 3-5, 3.58 ERA)
As Ryan Lefebvre puts it, "Jeremy Guthrie is now considered 'the bad luck dude' for bad run support." Guthrie is 7-5 with a 4.08 ERA against the Tigers. Drew Smyly has been much more effective against the Royals. Smyly is 3-0 with a 2.05 ERA.
Danny Duffy ( 4-5, 2.83 ERA) vs Anibal Sanchez ( 3-2, 2.44 ERA)
Danny Duffy has been absolutely phenomenal in his last three starts. He is 2-0 with a 1.45 ERA. Anibal Sanchez has similar numbers in his last three starts going 1-0 with a 1.71 ERA. This should be another interesting pitching match-up, but not as good Ventura vs Scherzer.
Overall, this is not a must-win series, but it is a very important one. The Royals are hot, and expect nothing less than a split from our boys in blue. We need at least a split in order to not lose any ground in the series, but this is not the end-all-be-all series of the season. There is still plenty of baseball left to play against the AL Central.