Rays Series Preview

The Tampa Bay Rays are 25-28 on the year and are in 4th place in the AL East.  They are 4-6 in their last 10, 13-11 at home, and 12-17 on the road.

The Kansas City Royals are 23-27, in 4th place in the AL Central, and 5.5 games back of the division leading Detroit Tigers.  They are 2-8 in their last 10, 15-15 at home, and 8-12 on the road.

Team Rankings:

Rays

Pitching

Royals

4.59

21st

ERA

4.13

10th

193

22nd

BB

165

6th

357

t-11th

SO

353

t-14th

1.46

t-22nd

WHIP

1.40

t-15th

260

25th

Runs Allowed

231

t-12th

Rays

Hitting

Royals

.274

t-6th

BA

.253

23rd

.354

6th

OBP

.325

23rd

.452

5th

SLG

.406

21st

64

4th

HR

41

t-22nd

82

1st

SB

27

t-20th

221

2nd

BB

163

t-22nd

413

28th

SO

331

14th

294

1st

Runs

209

t-25th

Rays

Fielding

Royals

.984

t-15th

FP

.983

t-19th

.7018

17th

DER

.6853

29th

32

t-11th

E

32

t-11th

The Pitching Matchups:
6/2 RHP-Kyle Davies (2-4, 5.09) vs. RHP-Andy Sonnanstine (3-5, 7.66)
6/3 RHP-TBA vs. RHP-Jeff Niemann (4-4, 4.44)
6/4 RHP-Gil Meche (2-5, 4.33) vs. RHP-James Shields (4-4, 3.53)

The Rays may be 25-28 but they are a much better team than their record would suggest.  Their expected W-L record is 29-24 which would have them at the top of the AL East.

We know the names from last year’s World Series team; Crawford, Longoria, Carlos Pena, and B.J. Upton. C arl Crawford leads all of baseball with 30 SB and he will certainly pad that total against the Royals.  Evan Longoria leads all of baseball with 55 RBI.  Carlos Pena is tied for 2nd in all of baseball with 17 HR.  B.J. Upton has struggled this season, but playing against the Royals has been the elixir for many players to get things going over the last several weeks.

Former Royals 1st round draft pick, J.P. Howell has a 2.45 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, and 3.44 SO/BB in 25.2 innings this season.  He’s a 26 year old LHP putting together his 2nd straight stellar season in the Rays bullpen and would look really good in a Royals jersey right about now.  At the time he was traded for Joey Gathright, I thought it was a good move for the Royals.  But if he stayed with Kansas City he probably would never become what he is now.  The Royals would not have had the foresight to make him a reliever, nor would have been patient, like the Rays were, during his struggles in the 2006 & 2007 seasons.  Howell is another example why we need to be patient with Alex Gordon, Luke Hochevar, and Billy Butler.

The Royals won’t have to face Matt Garza in the series but the Rays won’t have to face Greinke.  I am interested to see if there is a noticeable improvement in the team due to Soria’s return from the DL.  The Royals might also benefit from Ponson and Buck heading to the DL via theory of addition by subtraction.  Since I was sure they were better than the White Sox and they proceeded to get swept, I don’t know if the Royals are going to win any of these games.  Where things stand today, just playing solid fundamental baseball and being competitive in all 3 games would make this a step in the right direction.

Next Royals Game Full schedule »
Friday, Oct 2424 Oct5:07at San Francisco GiantsBuy Tickets

Tags: AL Central Baseball J.P. Howell Kansas City Royals KC MLB Tampa Bay Rays

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