It’s time for the Kansas City Royals (Yay!) and Detroit Tigers (again?) to meet in the Motor City. MLB could do a little better spreading these things out.
Let me see, who is on the schedule for the Kansas City Royals this week?
[dons pince-nez, reads The Daily Mail]
Gaaaaaaaaah. I guess it’s time to talk about the Detroit Tigers again.
By Thursday, 10 of the Royals last 26 games will be against the Motor City Kitties, and by Thursday that Detroit team could look really different. J.D. Martinez is already gone and rumors abound regarding Justin Verlander, Ian Kinsler, Alex Avila, Justin Wilson and everyone short of Michael Fulmer (MAYBE). If baseball were shipping in the 1800s, every other club would be sailing under the Jolly Roger and the Tigers would constantly have the white flag out.
And the Royals need to win the series to split that 10-games-in-26-days stretch at 5-5.
More than anything, that makes me the most dubious about the Kansas City Royals recent surge. They’re back above .500 and could conceivably find their way to the top of the division with a sweep of a bad team. The whole thing is in disarray.
I just don’t know anymore. I’m done making predictions about the 2017 Royals. I don’t think they should buy but it wouldn’t surprise me if they won the division either. Whit Merrifield has been one of the AL’s best players over the last month and Brandon Moss has two walk-off hits in the last week. Up is down, down is up.
That’s enough from me. You’re here to talk Tigers-Royals. Let’s do that. Enjoy Jason Boland and the Stragglers.
Game One: Jason Hammel (4-8, 4.81 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (5-7, 4.54 ERA); 6:10 p.m. (CT), Monday; FKSC
This has become a weekly reminder that Justin Verlander is the luckiest SOB alive for landing Kate Upton. The thought of the Dodgers trading for him so he and Ms. Upton could move to the West Coast on a full-time basis is one of the underrated subplots of the trade deadline and Reason No. 18372 that baseball is the best sport in the world.
Watch If: You want to see Verlander torture the Royals one last time; I think I speak for all of us when I say that he will not be missed in the AL Central.
Game Two: Danny Duffy (6-6, 3.71 ERA) vs. Michael Fulmer (10-7, 3.35 ERA); 6:10 p.m. (CT), Tuesday; FSKC
Duffy continues to be the opposite number for the best starter the Royals are facing in a given series and he continues to hold his own. That’s why he’s the No. 1 starter, despite the fact that Jason Vargas is producing a decidedly better year, numbers-wise, which proves that numbers are not always everything in baseball.
Watch If: I dunno man, I’m tapped on Tigers stuff. Like, if there was some kind of fun underlying factoid like, “Drew Butera used to have a girlfriend in Detroit only now he’s a little leery when he goes up there that she’s stalking him,” that would be useful (albeit not necessarily good). But Fangraphs and Baseball Reference just aren’t doing their jobs on tracking the PCSAAR (Potential Crazed Stalkers Acquired Above Replacement) stat.
Game Three: Ian Kennedy (3-6, 4.61 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 5.95 ERA); 6:10 p.m. (CT), Wednesday; FSKC
A trio of Tigers (Miguel Cabrera, Jose Iglesias and Ian Kinsler) sport .300 or better averages against Kennedy, who comes in off a rough start in his last outing (four innings, five earned against the White Sox)—and that doesn’t include Alex Avila, who has three bombs in 13 career at-bats against Kennedy. I don’t feel great about him getting the ball here, but there again I don’t feel phenomenal about anybody other than Vargas, Duffy, Mike Minor and about half of all Kelvin Herrera and Jason Hammel outings, and they’re three games above .500 anyway. At some point, you just make like a certain terrible Disney movie and let it go.
Watch If: You’re already saddened that Thursday is an off-day.
Kansas City Royals Predictions Sure to be Wrong
Game Two: Scott Alexander catches a mouse in the bullpen, names him Charles and fashions him a tiny uniform.
Game Three: Alcides Escobar reveals which shaman he used to break out of his slump; endorsements from Alex Gordon and Brandon Moss follow. Is this also the key to Whit Merrifield’s mystifying powers that defy the supernatural? Tune in next week!