Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals

The Royals defense didn’t commit an actual error but mental errors were made that allowed victories slip away. Pitching was adequate, more so in the last two games but the offense sputtered like a half dead European concept car. Scoring only 1 run each in the final two games of the series is not going to win a game, even if Zack Greinke pitched eight solid innings. It also doesn’t help to strand a small village out on the base paths. The Royals will be home for the next ten games hosting the Yankees, Indians, and White Sox.

The Royals are on a four game losing streak and now face arguably the best team in majors. The Yankees are making a short trip from Arlington to Kansas City before going back home themselves. The Yankees have struggled so far this month which includes losing the series versus Toronto, splitting against Boston, and lost the first game of the two-game set versus the AL West leading Rangers.

The Royals have been missing their starters off and on throughout the season for a variety of reasons. Other than injury, the most common reason that players have missed games is due to the birth of their children. The latest Royal father, Gregor Blanco, is the fifth Royal to become a father this season. He missed the Angel series but is expected to return to play against the Yankees.

Game 1: C.C. Sabathia (14-5) vs. Bruce Chen (7-5)

A pair of lefties to start off this four game set. Both starters are coming off strong performances. Chen notched a 2-1 victory over the Mariners while Sabathia earned his win against Boston. Chen in his career is 1-4 against the Yankees with an outlandish ERA of 6.83. In his most recent start versus the Yankees (and C.C Sabathia) he went six innings while giving up five earned runs on nine hits and two walks. Bruce Chen has struggled against the Yanks’ sluggers, including Jeter (.350 average and one HR) and Teixeira (.636 average with six HRs).

Sabathia definitely looked lest than Cy Young caliber against the Royals last month. He lasted only 6.1 innings while giving up four earned runs on four walks and eleven hits. However, if you look at the big picture C.C. Sabathia has preformed the equivalence of an entire season versus the Royals. He is 16-10 with a very respectable ERA of 3.30. The current Royals hitters have had some success against the Yankees ace, including Jason Kendal (.467 average) and Billy Butler (.333 average).

Game 2: Dustin Moseley (2-1) vs. Kyle Davies (5-7)

Davies has only one win in his last twelve starts. That one win was against the Yankees in New York. He went 5.1 innings while giving up seven hits (three of them were HRs) and four earned runs. In fact, Kyle Davies is undefeated against the Bronx Bombers. He has a 2-0 record but his ERA is unusually high with that kind of record (6.00). He has faced most of the current New York hitters and has mixed results. Jeter, Granderson, Cano and A-Rod all have career averages above .300.

Dustin Moseley is still filling in for Andy Pettitte in the Yankees rotation and has done a good job of filling a hall of famer’s shoes. In his start against the Royals last month he only lasted 4.2 innings but ended up with a no decision. Since that start he is 2-1 with an ERA of 3.66. His ERA against the Royals is even more impressive, 1.86.

Game 3: Phil Hughes (13-5) vs. Sean O’Sullivan (1-3)

O’Sullivan is probably thankful that his next start is not in California. He lost both of his starts on the Royals western division road trip. He gave up nine hits and seven earned runs. He has better success against the Yankees this year. He is 1-1 in two starts and eleven innings worked. He’s young and willing to battle through tough innings to give the bullpen a lighter load.

Phil Hughes is like a second Sabathia in the Yankees rotation. After all he is only one win behind the Yankees ace. In his last start against the Royals he pitched well enough for the win in a 5.1 innings start. He allowed three earned runs on six hits. He only had three strikeouts, so the Royals put the ball in play a lot against but the just didn’t find enough open holes.

Game 4: A.J. Burnett (9-9) vs. Bryan Bullington (0-1)

Bullington looked halfway decent in his start against the Angels. This was his longest appearance so far this season (six innings). This is his first career start versus the Yankees. A similar outing to his Angels start and he will give the Royals a fighting chance against the “weakest” link in this starting rotation right now.

Burnett is 3-2 in his career versus the Royals with an ERA of 2.96. One of those wins was picked up in his last start against them in New York. He lasted only five innings but did not allow an earned run. The Royals offense can not afford to have that kind of performance and expect to win.

Offense:

The Royals offense struggled in their most recent road trip out west. The Yankees’ lineup is filled with stars is hard to stop completely on any given night. The Royals have the higher team average but the Yankees have almost double the amount of homeruns the Royals due. The Royals will have to scratch runs across anyway they can in order to split the series or take it.

Defense:

The Royals defense played well while the offense lost its grove. A fluctuating lineup doesn’t help matters but the Yankees have also had changes in their lineup throughout the season. They are second in the A.L. in fielding percentage (.988). They trail only the Minnesota twins in this stat. The Yankees also have a slight edge in terms of double plays converted. (112 for the Yankees vs. 107 for Royals.)

X-Factor:

Both teams come into this series struggling. The Yankees are in the middle of a tight pennant race with Tampa Bay and the Royals are trying to see what talent they currently have that can help them next season. If the Royals can get to the starters and into the Yankees bullpen they will have a better chance than against the likes of Sabathia and company. If the Royals get to that bullpen early, they will less likely have to face Rivera. The Royals pitchers need to hit their spots and induce ground balls to get outs. This will allow their closer, Soria, to close out the game.

One thought on “Series Preview: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: