Friday, April 8, 2011

Series Preview: Kansas City Royals (4-2, 0 GB) vs. Detroit Tigers (2-4, 2 GB)

KC started the season out with the Angels (3-1) and White Sox (1-1) at home and come in to the Tigers series with a +1 run differential and averaging just under 6 runs scored a game.  The Royals are hitting well but besides Jeff Francis who the Tigers won’t see in this series seem to be struggling not unlike Detroit.
Match Ups vs. Royals (@ Comerica Park)
4.8/3:05 p (EST) – Kyle Davies (0-0, 6.75 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (1-0, 10.80 ERA)
4.9/4:10p – Bruce Chen (0-0, 9.00 ERA) vs. Phil Coke (0-1, 7.71 ERA)
4.10/1:05p – Luke Hochevar (0-1, 6.17 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (0-1, 9.00 ERA)

Comerica Park
Who’s Hot (Last 7 Games)
Alex Gordon, OF – hitting .458 to start the season with a home run and 4 RBI
Billy Butler, 1B – Second to Gordon on the team with a .400 average and leading the team with 2 homers and tied for the team lead with 4 RBI
Jeff Francis, SP – Has had to very good starts and luckily the Tigers miss him this time around.  Francis is carrying a 1.98 ERA while striking out 8.
Brennan Boesch, DH/OF – Continues to sting the ball leading the team with a .421 average and knocking in 5
Alex Avila, C – From “not” to “hot” with a strong series against Baltimore, Avila is now 2nd on the team in hitting .385 and leading the team in RBI with 7.
Joaquin Benoit, RP – Could go to a few of the relievers but Benoit has thrown in three games giving up no runs (knock on wood).

Who’s Not (Last 7 Games)
Mike Aviles, 2B – only 2 hits in 21 at bats (.095 avg) and 5 k’s
Kila Ka’aihue, DH – hit a walk off the other night but other than that had only tallied a total of 4 hits for a .200 average.  Has to be looking over his shoulder for Eric Hosmer
The starting rotation is struggling other then Franicis however the surprise early on is Joakim Soria and his bloated 7.20 ERA.  He does have a win but that came after blowing a save.  He’s pitched in 5 of his team’s first 6 games giving up 4 runs, 6 hits and 2 walks.
Wil Rhymes, 2B – Rhymes continues to struggle hitting just .133.   Will has walked 3 times however.
Max Scherzer, SP – Looked like he had a hard time hitting his spots in his first appearance and may have something to do with his release point which he also looked like he was struggling with slipping off the mound a few times.  Max’s ERA is sitting a 10.80 but a good outing can shrink that quickly.
Rick Porcello, SP – Also struggled in his first and appearance and like Scherzer only threw 5 innings giving up 5 earned.
Tigers pitching staff - team ERA of 7.29 and have given up 11 dingers in 6 games.   Opposing hitters are batting .275 against.

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