Series Preview: Indians (51-50) v. Royals (50-50)


Back-to-back wins followed-up four straight losses on the Royals six-game road trip. Kansas City hosts Cleveland who they now trail in the AL Central and Wildcard standings which puts a premium on this four-game series at Kauffman Stadium.

Danny Duffy opens the series against the Indians at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday night. Photo Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Probably Pitching Match-ups:
Thursday, 7:10 pm – Corey Kluber/RHP (10-6, 2.95) v. Danny Duffy/LHP (5-10, 2.66)
Friday, 7:10 pm – Josh Tomlin/RHP (5-7, 4.43) v. Yordano Ventura/RHP (7-8, 3.59)
Saturday, 6:10 pm – TBA v. Jeremy Guthrie/RHP (5-9, 4.56)
Sunday, 1:10 pm – Danny Salazar/RHP (2-4, 5-12) v. Bruce Chen/LHP (2-2, 5.80)

Comments on Pitching Match-ups – This big series begins with Kluber and Duffy which is followed-up by Tomlin versus Ventura which are two good match-ups to open this series. Then Saturday Gurthrie faces TBA and Chen squares off against recently called up Salazar! Kluber has been masterful against KC this season but faces Duffy which should be excellent to watch. Friday has Tomlin against Ventura, who’s looking to bounce back from his start Sunday in Boston.

Series Predictions – After a 2-4 road trip through Boston and Chicago this series has added importance. It also features the second and third place teams that are chasing Detroit, so losing ground in late July also will determine what happen at the trade deadline. Prediction: I’m just going to draw a line in the sand and say that takes three of four which the loss being on Thursday night.  

2014 Meetings:
These teams saw one another over the Fourth of July weekend with Kansas City winning game one 7-1 before dropping the final two games 7-3, 4-1. Ventura defeated Tomlin on July 4th with T.J. House defeating Guthrie, then Kluber beating Duffy. Prior to this three game series it was 3-3 which Cleveland now leads 5-4 at the halfway point of their meetings this season.

The Tribe will be looking for their first win at the K this season after being swept during a two-game series in June which was the lone trip.

Franchise History:
Cleveland holds a 318-301 advantage all-time between these longtime foes. Kansas City looks to improve on their 161-144 record in the City of Fountains and which includes a 149-132 mark at Kauffman Stadium.

TV/Radio Coverage:
All four games can be seen on TV with Thursday, Friday and Sunday on FOX Sports Kansas City with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler handing the TV broadcast. Saturday night FOX Sports 1 will have national coverage of this series. Joel Goldberg and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery will have Royals Live before and after from Rivals in right field. On the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) will be Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews who’ll be joined by Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.

AL Central Standings (July 24):
Detroit Tigers (56-42, – GB)
Cleveland Indians (51-50, 6.5 GB)
Kansas City Royals (50-50, GB 7 GB)
Chicago White Sox (48-54, GB 10)
Minnesota Twins (46-54, GB 11)

AL Wildcard Standings (July 24):
Los Angeles Angels (60-40, +7.5)
Seattle Mariners (53-48, -)
New York Yankees (52-48, .5 GB)
Toronto Blue Jays (53-49, .5 GB)
Indians (51-50, 2 GB)
Royals (50-50, 2.5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays (49-53, 4.5 GB)
White Sox (48-54, 5.5 GB)
Boston Red Sox (47-54, 6 GB)
Twins (46-54, 6.5 GB)

2014 Series Schedule/Results v. Indians (CLE 5-4)
April 21-24, Progressive Field – L 4-3, W 8-2, L 5-3, L 5-1
June 10-11, Kauffman Stadium – W 9-5, W 4-1
July 4-6, Progressive Field – W 7-1, L 7-3, L 4-1
July 24-27, Kauffman Stadium
August 29-31, Kauffman Stadium
September 22-24, Progressive Field

Game Notes:
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals