Sunday was a good overall day for Kansas City and their fans; first, Eric Hosmer delivered the teams second walkoff win in three days, and secondly, four KC Royals were named All-Star Game starters. KC entered 4.5 games up on Minnesota and after a split, they didn’t lose any ground.
Next up are the surprising Tampa Bay Rays, who have surprised many with how they’ve played so far this season. Our KC Royals have had Tampa Bay’s number over the past couple seasons, but make no mistake, these Rays, while some names have changed, the solid pitching remains.
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Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Monday, 7:10 pm – Alex Colome/RHP (3-4, 4.70) v. Edinson Volquez/RHP (8-4, 3.48)
Tuesday, 7:10 pm – Matt Moore/LHP (0-0, 7.71) v. Chris Young/RHP (7-4, 2.64)
Wednesday, 7:10 pm – Chris Archer/RHP (9-5, 2.18) v. Jeremy Guthrie/RHP (6-5, 5.42)
Thursday, 1:10 pm – Nate Karns/RHP (4-4, 3.21) v. Joe Blanton/RHP (2-2, 3.74)
Comments on Pitching Match-ups – With how each team’s offense have been scuffling along this could be a series which pitching reigns supreme. While Moore and Archer are familiar names for fans don’t overlook Colome or Karns this week. Bigger news is that Yordano Ventura will not be making his scheduled start in Omaha today and will be throwing a side session on Monday at the K, which might lead to a Thursday start.
Game 1: Volquez is coming off a no-decision at Houston where he was bailed out by the offense, the Astros later won the game via a controversial replay that went against KC. Colome hasn’t been flashy but has been dependable for manager Kevin Cash.
Game 2: Young started game one versus the Twins, taking a defeat to Kyle Gibson; he’s been in down swing lately. Moore is better than his 7.71 ERA suggests; his first start this season was Thursday against Cleveland which he earned a no-decision.
Game 3: If you can sense a theme here, at least one starter from the first three games took a no-decision in their last start. Guthrie allowed two run in 7 1/3 innings Friday, which KC won on a Jarrod Dyson infield single, he looked pretty strong in that outing. Archer has been one of the best pitchers in the AL despite what his record suggests, his 2.18 ERA and his strikeout rate have been unreal.
Game 4: Blanton may or may not be making this start, since he’s definitely struggled lately with Saturday night being no exception to this. Karns is coming off a good start that ended in, you guessed it, a no-decision in the Bronx as the Rays lost in walkoff fashion.
Series Predictions – Alcides Escobar, Alex Gordon, Lorenzo Cain and Salvador Perez were named starters for next weeks All-Star Game in Cincinnati, they’ll likely be joined by a couple more Royals when the full team is announced tonight. Those four will be central but getting Eric Hosmer going again after yesterdays winning hit hopefully occurs. Evan Longoria might be the most familiar name but make no mistake he’s not the only one producing for Tampa Bay. Kevin Kiermaier and Steven Souza, Jr. have been having nice seasons as well. While I’d say it’s a toss-up each game in terms of starters, I think that Kansas City’s slumping offense is better than the visitors from St. Pete. Prediction: Series split
Last season KC went 4-2 against Tampa Bay dropping one game in each series, going back to 2012 our boys in blue have won 14 of the last 19 meetings which includes taking six of seven meetings in 2013. Outside of a 6-0 win on July 7th last year which was the biggest margin of defeat between the teams four of the six games were decided by one or two runs.
Tampa Bay actually leads the all-time series 70-62 between these teams, however at Kauffman Stadium the Royals are 34-27 against the Rays.
FOX Sports Kansas City will broadcast all four games with Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler on the call. Royals Live can be seen on FSKC before and after with host Joel Goldberg and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery from their set in left field.
The Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in Kansas City) will have Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews who’ll be joined by Ryan Lefebvre and Steve Stewart describing all the action from the Twin Cities.
2015 Series Schedule/Results v. Rays
July 6-9, Kauffman Stadium
August 28-30, Tropicana Field