|KANSAS CITY ( DAVIS )|
DETROIT ( SCHERZER )
|973||KANSAS CITY||+225||Ov 7.5,-110||+160||Ov 7.5,+105|
|974||DETROIT||-245||Un 7.5,-110||-170||Un 7.5,-125|
|vs Right-handed Starters||8-4||+4.6||4-8||4.2||0.275||0.314||3.0||0.231||0.291|
|Past 7 Games||4-3||+2||2-5||3.0||0.256||0.294||3.0||0.215||0.280|
|vs Right-handed Starters||8-6||+0.1||9-5||4.6||0.279||0.339||3.7||0.243||0.303|
|Past 7 Games||3-4||-1.8||4-3||3.1||0.225||0.295||4.0||0.257||0.304|
|4/16/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ ATLANTA||MEDLEN(R)||3-6||L||165||7 un||O||9||8||1||9||5||3|
|4/17/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ ATLANTA||MINOR(L)||1-0||W||155||7.5 un||U||8||5||1||6||5||0|
|4/20/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ BOSTON||BUCHHOLZ(R)||3-4||L||125||8 un||U||10||7||1||7||6||1|
|4/21/2013||SANTANA(R)||@ BOSTON||DEMPSTER(R)||4-2||W||140||8 un||U||8||5||0||8||7||0|
|4/21/2013||GUTHRIE(R)||@ BOSTON||WEBSTER(R)||5-4||W||140||8 un||O||9||7||1||9||9||1|
|4/24/2013||DAVIS(R)||@ DETROIT||SCHERZER(R)|| |
|4/25/2013||SHIELDS(R)||@ DETROIT||VERLANDER(R)|| |
|4/30/2013||SHIELDS(R)||TAMPA BAY||COBB(R)|| |
|5/1/2013|| ||TAMPA BAY|| || |
|4/12/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ OAKLAND||COLON(R)||3-4||L||-115||7.5 ev||U||12||7||1||8||6||0|
|4/13/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ OAKLAND||ANDERSON(L)||7-3||W||-130||7 un||O||10||6||0||7||10||0|
|4/14/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ OAKLAND||PARKER(R)||10-1||W||-130||8 ov||O||14||11||0||3||6||1|
|4/16/2013||FISTER(R)||@ SEATTLE||HARANG(R)||6-2||W||-160||7.5 un||O||12||10||0||4||3||0|
|4/17/2013||SCHERZER(R)||@ SEATTLE||HERNANDEZ(R)||2-1||W||-115||6.5 ev||U||7||11||0||11||10||2|
|4/18/2013||VERLANDER(R)||@ SEATTLE||IWAKUMA(R)||0-2||L||-160||6.5 un||U||5||5||0||9||6||0|
|4/19/2013||SANCHEZ(R)||@ LA ANGELS||HANSON(R)||1-8||L||-120||8.5 un||O||10||12||1||16||8||0|
|4/20/2013||PORCELLO(R)||@ LA ANGELS||RICHARDS(R)||0-10||L||100||9 ov||O||4||5||0||14||4||0|
|4/21/2013||FISTER(R)||@ LA ANGELS||WILSON(L)||3-4||L||105||8 ev||U||10||13||2||8||10||0|
|4/24/2013||SCHERZER(R)||KANSAS CITY||DAVIS(R)|| |
|4/25/2013||VERLANDER(R)||KANSAS CITY||SHIELDS(R)|| |
|5/1/2013|| ||MINNESOTA|| || |
|KANSAS CITY: HITTING: With Melky Cabrera gone, OF LORENZO CAIN will get first crack at leadoff and centerfield. If he falters, speedster JASON BOURGEOIS, vet MITCH MAIER and prospect WIL MYERS are waiting. Former Brewer YUNIESKY BETANCOURT will start at 2B and has good life in his bat for a middle infielder. OF ALEX GORDON may not hit for average, but his approach and power are there. DH BILLY BUTLER is rock solid, but it's fair to wonder whether his power will ever progress. 1B ERIC HOSMER has MVP-type upside, and he's on the verge of figuring out MLB pitching. OF JEFF FRANCOEUR still chases too many bad pitches, but the organization likes him and he still has some pop and speed. 3B MIKE MOUSTAKAS is too good for the minors, but he still hasn't caught up to major-league pitching. There's a good chance he finds his groove this year. C HUMBERTO QUINTERO will be the main backstop with BRAYAN PENA backing him up. Speedy SS ALCIDES ESCOBAR's bat hasn't caught up to his glove. |
STARTING PITCHING: K.C. once again hopes this is the year LUKE HOCHEVAR puts it all together. His velocity picked up late last year, allowing him to be more than a groundball guy. Lefty BRUCE CHEN's late-career renaissance continues. He'll be a reliable veteran arm in the middle of K.C.'s rotation again. FELIPE PAULINO has the biggest upside in this rotation. He's always had one of MLB's best fastballs. His problem was that, when he missed (which has been often), it was usually belt-high and over the middle of the plate. If he hits his spots as he did late last year, he's got potential. But Paulino will start the season on the DL with a sore elbow. The Royals hope to solve JONATHAN SANCHEZ's command issues. The lefty is a risk, but has legitimate No. 3 potential. Top prospect DANNY DUFFY will get every chance to pitch his way into the Opening Day rotation.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOAKIM SORIA is out for the season with Tommy John surgery, leaving GREG HOLLAND to pick up closer duties. Holland was the Royals' best bullpen arm in 2011 and his stuff has always been nearly unhittable. It's just a matter of whether last year's vastly improved walk rate was for real. JONATHAN BROXTON was a disaster last season, but he'll be given every chance to become the No. 2 guy in this bullpen because of his experience in Los Angeles. AARON CROW was a first-round pick (twice) for his college career as a starter, but wore down late last year, and walked too many batters.
|DETROIT: HITTING: OF AUSTIN JACKSON doesn't make much contact, but manager Jim Leyland likes his speed in the leadoff spot. RYAN RABURN and RAMON SANTIAGO will split second base duties, with Raburn getting the majority of the starts. 3B MIGUEL CABRERA seems to have cleaned up his act. He's an MVP candidate. So is newcomer 1B PRINCE FIELDER who will try to keep slugging in his move to a pitchers' park. His presence was needed after DH VICTOR MARTINEZ was lost for the season with a knee injury. OF DELMON YOUNG is a pending free agent, and he hit well after escaping spacious Target Field. He'll nab the starting LF job but could also DH. OF BRENNAN BOESCH did enough pre-injury to earn an everyday role, but he'll again be in danger of fading over the summer. SS JHONNY PERALTA had a resurgence in 2011, and he's on the right side of 30. C ALEX AVILA might not hit for average, but his power is legit. Leyland favorite BRANDON INGE and DON KELLY will back up the All-Star corner infielders, so neither expect to get much playing time. Streaky OF ANDY DIRKS is a fourth outfielder. C GERALD LAIRD will spell Avila. |
STARTING PITCHING: You can't expect an identical stat line for JUSTIN VERLANDER; his opponent .236 batting average on balls in play suggests there was some luck involved in his MVP season. But he's still the best pitcher in the American League by a wide margin. DOUG FISTER's improved strikeout rate with the Tigers suggests he could sustain success as a quality No. 2 starter. MAX SCHERZER can still be outstanding when he's on, but he was inconsistent again last year. He could figure it out in his late-20s, but time is running out. RICK PORCELLO still has a ways to go. His mid-season success came against some weak lineups. He's still only 23, but he hasn't been able to beat hitters at any level in the pros. The Tigers are still searching for a No. 5 starter. Top prospect JACOB TURNER is only 20, but the Tigers haven't been shy about fast-tracking young arms. He was dominant in the minors, but torched in his first big-league stint. ANDY OLIVER appears to be the front-runner for this role, but DREW SMYLY is also a possibility.
RELIEF PITCHING: JOSE VALVERDE was perfect in 2011, but it was a surprising development considering his sliding K/BB ratio. For Tigers fans, he carries more risk than 49-for-49 would suggest. One of baseball's better set-up men, JOAQUIN BENOIT is an eighth-inning-only guy. He'd take over if Valverde got hurt. OCTAVIO DOTEL is another elite set-up man who will step up as the seventh-inning guy. As good as AL ALBURQUERQUE was in the regular season (one extra-base hit'a double'allowed in 43.1 innings!), he's out until at least the All-Star break after offseason elbow surgery. Lefty DANIEL SCHLERETH has a chance to be the closer of the future, but first he'll need to cut down on the walks.
|~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PA SPORTSTICKER AL PREVIEW (KANSAS CITY-DETROIT) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ |
*Royals-Tigers Preview* =======================
Kansas City (10-7) at Detroit (9-9), 7:05 p.m. EDT
The Kansas City Royals are in an unfamiliar position atop the AL Central and hope to make a big statement against the two-time defending division champions.
That may be difficult in a place that has given them fits lately, though the Detroit Tigers are hardly playing well.
Wade Davis will try to help the Royals end their seven-game skid in Detroit in the opener of this rain-shortened series Wednesday night when he opposes Max Scherzer, whose Tigers look to avoid a fifth straight loss.
Kansas City (10-7), which hasn't won a division title since 1985, had dropped four of six before coming through with a doubleheader sweep in Boston on Sunday. Following a 4-2 victory in the opener, Billy Butler hit a game-tying homer in the eighth inning and Lorenzo Cain walked with the bases loaded in the 10th of a 5-4 win in the second game.
That was the last time the Royals played. With three scheduled days off and rain Tuesday providing a second postponement since Friday, Kansas City has been off five of the past nine days.
"It feels almost like getting at-bats for the first time in spring again," Butler said. "Except these ones count. I'm sure in their own respect it's affecting the pitchers, too."
Butler's team didn't have many good at-bats in losing its final seven games at Comerica Park last season, hitting .216 with seven walks and 67 strikeouts. Kansas City has lost 12 of 15 in Detroit and now looks to avoid its longest losing streak there since dropping 14 straight between 1987 and 1990.
The Tigers went 13-5 against the Royals last season but enter this three-game set having lost four straight. They've scored six runs in 54 innings over their last five games while batting .191, having suffered a three-game sweep to the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend.
"We have no excuses," said right fielder Torii Hunter, who was hitting .418 before going 1 for 7 in the last two games.
Hunter is 3 for 7 with two doubles against Davis (2-0, 2.25), but the right-hander enters this matchup having thrown 12 scoreless innings over his last two outings while striking out 13.
Scherzer (1-0, 2.84) also is coming off a pair of impressive starts, with 23 strikeouts over 14 innings as he limited Oakland and Seattle to two earned runs.
Scherzer is 12-2 with a 2.58 ERA in his last 23 starts - including the 2012 playoffs - and went 2-0 in three starts against the Royals last season as he gave up four runs over 17 innings.
Should the Tigers (9-9) wind up in a situation where they need a save Wednesday, they'll turn to a familiar face. Detroit on Tuesday agreed to a one-year contract with Jose Valverde, who saved 84 games for the Tigers over the past two seasons.
Detroit was ready to let Valverde leave as a free agent after his poor postseason, but he never signed elsewhere and the Tigers brought him back on a minor league deal. Valverde pitched three scoreless innings at Class-A Lakeland.
Detroit may not need Valverde, whom manager Jim Leyland said would start closing immediately, if Davis pitches like he did in his first career start at Comerica. Davis surrendered home runs to Miguel Cabrera and Alex Avila and gave up five runs over six innings while not receiving a decision in a 7-6 loss for Tampa Bay in 2011.
Cabrera and Avila are a combined 4 for 17 against Davis, but each hit was a homer.
Victor Martinez has gone 1 for 9 against him while Austin Jackson is 1 for 8, and that duo is a combined 1 for 33 during Detroit's four-game skid.
Catcher Salvador Perez is 5 for 7 with a double and two homers versus Scherzer while Alex Gordon has gone 7 for 18.
|Last Updated: 4/20/2018 10:29:46 PM EST|