Wade Davis will start for Kansas City. The right-hander owns a 5.29 ERA after 22 starts this season, a full run higher than his 4.22 FIP. Davis actually has the highest K/9 among Royals pitchers with more than 50 innings pitched, while his walk rate is slightly above-average but manageable.
The problems for Davis all season have been contact related. The right-hander has posted a .373 BABIP, which has helped contribute to a 68.7% LOB%. Batters have hit Davis hard all season, which effectively removes the Royals defense from helping prevent runs.
Davis' last three starts have been solid, but they have come against the White Sox, Mets and Marlins. Facing the Tigers will be completely different; Detroit roughed Davis up for seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings earlier this year at Comerica. It's hard to know what you will get from Davis, but I'm not expecting much today.
Doug Fister will take the mound for Detroit. The right-hander has been solid, owning a 3.60 ERA with a 3.33 FIP. Fister has done an impressive job limiting walks, issuing free passes to just 4.5% of the hitters he has faced, while posting a 56.2% groundball percentage.
Fister has turned in two quality starts against the Royals, allowing a combined four runs over 14 innings. He's going to throw strikes and force a lot of groundballs, so the Royals have to hope some of the grounders find holes.
It's hard to feel confident heading into tonight's game when Detroit has such a clear pitching advantage, but the Royals did just allow one run in 18 innings yesterday. A win today would probably mean a successful series overall, regardless of Sunday's outcome.