KC Royals Series Preview: Division Leading Royals Host Rays

Ian Kennedy will look to help the Royals in first place as they face Tampa Bay at Kauffman Stadium. Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Ian Kennedy will look to help the Royals in first place as they face Tampa Bay at Kauffman Stadium. Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports /

The KC Royals host Tampa Bay after three incredible wins against the White Sox that allowed our Boys In Blue to seize the AL Central lead. The Rays aren’t to be overlooked as they can pitch and are a pesky team early on in 2016.

The Kansas City Royals are facing another team that’s under .500 and they’ll look to extend their streak of winning series.

Probable Pitching Match-Ups
Monday, 7:15 pm – Matt Andriese/RHP (3-0, 2.63) v. Ian Kennedy/RHP (4-3, 3.38)
Tuesday, 7:15 pm – Drew Smyly/LHP (2-6, 3.92) v. Dillon Gee/RHP (1-2, 3.86)
Wednesday, 7:15 pm – Chris Archer/RHP (3-6, 4.62) v. Danny Duffy/LHP (0-0, 3.23)

Comments on Pitching Match-Ups – Archer is definitely the guy who sticks out the most from those scheduled to pitch this series. Both teams have to feel good about who they’ll be sending out to try and get them a win.

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Game 1: Andriese has started off this season well as he’s yet to take a defeat and has a sub-three ERA. Kennedy was derailed by rain his last start which the KC Royals won 10-4.

Game 2: Smyly is a former divisional opponent who’s record doesn’t reflect how he’s been. Gee has struggled his past two starts after doing alright.

Game 3: Archer is a former All-Star who’s struggled this season, he’s not getting run support but also isn’t helping himself. Duffy was left out a little too long on Friday but since being inserted into the rotation has given his team a chance each time out.

Series Outlook – Tampa Bay is still led by Evan Longoria who’s now been a pro for eight seasons, he’s helped on offense by Steven Souza Jr. as both have nine home runs. TB still struggles to score runs despite those two in the line-up, human strikeout machine Kevin Kiermaier is on the DL currently which will affect their defense at the K.

Can the Royal reserves continue to keep it up? Whit Merrifield and Brett Eibner have done better than expect during their first week or in Eibner’s case series since being called up from Omaha. While the newcomers have helped Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer continue to heat up which has been welcomed for the offense.

Prediction – Kansas City Royals win two of three

2015 Meetings
The KC Royals are 20-6 against Tampa Bay since 2012 which includes winning six of seven last season, this includes winning all four at the K in 2015.

Franchise History
All-time the Rays have an advantage of 71-68 in 139 games played, the expansion team continues to hold onto their slim winning record against the KC Royals. Our boys in blue are 38-27 against TB at Kauffman Stadium

TV/Radio Coverage
FOX Sports Kansas City will broadcast all four games from next to the Kansas City Royals Hall of Fame with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler. Joel Goldberg and KC Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery host Royals Live before and after the games.

On the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC) will be Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews who’s joined in the booth by Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.

Next: What DIfference Does 1/3 Of An Inning Make?

Game Notes:
Tampa Bay Rays
Kansas City Royals