Kansas City at Boston: Series Preview
Kansas City will head into Beantown hopefully feeling relaxed and ready to go. The Royals will need to have another spectacular run down the stretch in order for their postseason dreams to stay alive.
James Shields (9-5, 3.65 ERA) vs. Clay Bucholz (4-5. 5.42 ERA)
Kansas City will look to ace James Shields to open up the second half with a victory. Boston has under performed thus far in the season, but the heart of this Sox lineup has some experience with 'Big Game' James. David Ortiz is .316 (18-57) off of Shields lifetime.
Billy Butler has the most experience against Bucholz with twelve at-bats.
Danny Duffy (5-9, 2.76 ERA) vs. Rubby De La Rosa (2-2, 2.89 ERA)
The Red Sox have limited experience with Danny Duffy. Duffy has been very reliable for the Royals this year.
Rubby De La Rosa will make his seventh start on Saturday for the Red Sox this season. Like Bucholz, De La Rosa has not seen much of the Royals. Billy Butler is 1-1 with a HR off of De La Rosa.
Yordano Ventura (7-7, 3.22 ERA) vs. John Lester (9-7, 2.65 ERA)
Yordano Ventura has not started since July 9th. He did however make a relief appearance that lated 1.2 innings. The Red Sox have never experienced young Yordano's ability to throw fire.
John Lester is coming off of a seven inning quality start against Chicago. Jon Lester has been very good for the Sox this year, so I would look for this game to be a very good pitchers duel.
Game Notes for 7/18: Alex Gordon is back in the lineup after missing last series with a sprained wrist. Nori Aoki has been dropped to the number nine spot, and Ned Yost will have Lorenzo Cain leading off.
Kansas City needs to focus on winning the series instead of sweeping. With 2/3 starters for the Red Sox having a sub-3 ERA, I wouldn't put a series loss out of the question for Kansas City.