Royals Series Preview – Royals at Astros

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Oct 12, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales (25) hits into a fielders choice, scoring two runs against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in game four of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Royals won 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 12, 2015; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales (25) hits into a fielders choice, scoring two runs against the Houston Astros during the eighth inning in game four of the ALDS at Minute Maid Park. Royals won 9-6. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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Mar 7, 2016; Mesa, AZ, USA;  Kris Medlen will make his first 2016 start for the Royals on Tuesday. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports /

Tuesday: RHP Kris Medlen (0-0, -.– ERA) vs. Mike Fiers (0-0, 9.00 ERA)

When the Royals signed Medlen back in December of 2014, they gave him a two-year contract with a team option.

They gave him that contract knowing that he would miss much of 2015 to Tommy John surgery, buying the upside he provides in 2016.

We have reached 2016 and Medlen is in the rotation, making his season debut on Tuesday, with the Royals waiting to see if he will resemble the 2013 Medlen. If he give the Royals anything more than innings, it will just be icing on the cake of that contract. $5.5 million for a starting pitcher is cake.

His season will begin with quite the challenge, however. Although Medlen dominated on the road last season, he also relied heavily on his fastball, a pitch the Astros smashed in 2015.

And, again, the Astros play in a little-league stadium.

Opposing Medlen is Mike Fiers, who logged a 3.32 ERA over 60+ stretch run innings for the Astros after his trade from Milwaukee.

He has only made one start against the Royals, however, when he gave up six earned runs over just five innings last summer. He also pitched a single inning against the Royals last season, giving up a run in that inning.

Must-See Matchup 

Kris Medlen v. Colby Rasmus.

These two have never faced each other, but make for an interesting mesh of styles.

Medlen, as we’ve discussed, uses a heavy dose of fastballs, while Rasmus registered a 12.3fastball runs above average in 2015.

Add in the fact that the game is being played in Houston (326 feet to the right field foul pole) and that Rasmus put up a .243 ISO against right-handers in 2015, this matchup could turn explosive.

Next: Game Three

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