KC Royals Preview: 4 factors to focus on in NL East matchup

The hot Royals could have their hands full in Philadelphia this weekend.
Ed Zurga/GettyImages
2 of 5

The KC Royals' rotation looks to remain hot in Philadelphia

The pitching for the Royals hasn't been the greatest this year but, with the trade deadline expired, the rotation seems to have taken a step forward. Since the start of Kansas City's recent homestand July 28, the rotation has a combined ERA of 1.65, including Brady Singer's eight shutout innings Thursday. In the six-game homestand, KC starters earned four decisions and lost none of them.

Kansas City's scheduled starters going into Philadelphia are Jordan Lyles Friday, Alec Marsh Saturday, and Zack Greinke Sunday. The worst start of the just-completed homestand was Lyles' as he went five innings giving up three earned runs. For the pitching to stay hot, the starters will have to shut down a balanced Philadelphia lineup that actually doesn't have a standout bat (more on that in a moment).

Adding to the positives of the Royals' starters is that they aren't walking too many batters recently, having walked only five. While they aren't really striking out many hitters (24 K's in six games for a 5.53 K/9), they are keeping the walks in check and limiting hard contact.

While the rotation has been hot, two outfielders have been intriguing since the All-Star Break...