Game 114 Preview - Royals vs. Red Sox

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like the Royals are playing with house money tonight.

The Kansas City Royals will look to clinch their seventh straight series tonight against the Boston Red Sox at Kauffman Stadium.

Jeremy Guthrie will start for Kansas City. Guthrie continues to pitch as a serviceable middle of the rotation starter despite his lack of swing-and-miss stuff. The right-hander has only fanned 12.9% of the batters he has faced this year, well below-league average. His FIP is 5.10, but he's managed to keep his ERA respectable at 3.96.

The Royals defense has probably helped Guthrie, and he's stranding runners at a higher rate than his career average. I still don't like that the right-hander is signed to a three-year deal, but he's performed as advertised this year, and should keep the Royals in the game.

Felix Doubront will take the mound for Boston. Doubront has pitched well recently, only surrendering 20 runs over his past 12 starts. The southpaw owns a 3.56 ERA with a 3.41 FIP, solid improvement from his 4.86 ERA and 4.37 FIP in 2012.

Doubront owns a 21.1 K% and a 9.6 BB%; he has quality stuff, but occasionally battles his command. The Royals' plate approach has been strong in the first two games of the season, and they should stay patient against Doubront. Even if he strikes a few people out, chasing him early gives the team more plate appearances against a taxed and shaky bullpen.

Even though Doubront has thrown 320 1/3 innings for the Red Sox, I don't think I've ever seen him throw or read much about him. He wasn't a huge prospect, and he's remained relatively low-profile despite pitching in a big media market. I'm curious to see him pitch, although I'm definitely cheering for an off night.

The Royals have won two games against the Red Sox. Bruce Chen started one of the games, and the team allowed six runs in the other. I don't understand anything right now, but I hope it stays this way.

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