As pitching match-ups go, this one could be classified as "marquee."
Adam Wainright comes to Kauffman with a 2.38 ERA and 2.42 xFIP. He's striking out a career best 8.64 batters per nine and with a 0.75 BB/9, his command has been stellar. If he can keep this up, he's on the path to the best season of his career.
Our own James Shields possesses a 2.47 ERA and 3.23 xFIP. The difference between the two comes from the walks - Shields has a 1.85 BB/9- a great rate on it's own, but over a walk worse than Wainright. And also the home runs. In almost the same number of innings, Shields has surrendered seven long balls, while Wainwright has allowed just two.
This has all the makings of another pitcher's duel. Another one run game. A game that could conceivably be decided by a home run.
And as we all know, that scenario doesn't favor the Royals.
The Royals have played 47 games this year and 19 of them have ended with a separation of a single run. I don't know what that means, but it seems high. As you can guess, their record in such games is not good. Just seven wins against 12 losses. (By comparison, last year's one-run wonders, the Baltimore Orioles, played 38 such games, winning 29.)
As much as it pains to write, the Cardinals are the class of the National League. They've won 21 of their last 30 and have the most wins in the NL. The Royals meanwhile, won 11 of their last 30. They are circling the drain.
Meanwhile, Mike Moustakas and his .178/.252/.308 remains on the team. So does Jeff Francoeur and his .219/.255/.315. And Chris Getz and his .210/.265/.305 is your leadoff man.
Why should anyone panic?