Jeremy Guthrie will start the game for Kansas City. Guthrie has been who we thought he was, maybe a little better. The Stormin' Mormon owns a 4.08 ERA with a 4.50 FIP over 198 2/3 innings. He has pitched to contact all season, but has kept his ERA respectable thanks to a 78% strand rate.
I'm spitballing here, but maybe it's time to put the #EmbracetheLuck element of Guthrie's season to rest. Yes, his ERA is lower than his FIP, and his strand rate will probably not repeat itself. But he's managed a career ERA- of 98 despite a FIP- of 110, with 1400 innings as a sample size. Given the Royals stellar defense, his numbers haven't been unreasonably better than projections.
It's certainly fortunate that the 34-year-old hasn't shown any signs of his stuff slipping or suffered any injury, but that's almost true of any pitcher. I'm not totally sure of my point here, other than it's possible Guthrie's three-year deal no longer looks terrible, if he can stay healthy.
Ned Yost is not making any drastic changes to the lineup, which is a nice sign. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star brings us the Royals starting nine:
#Royals vs. Tex RHP Garza: Gordon 7, Bonifacio 4, Hosmer 3, Butler DH, Perez 2, Moustakas 5, Cain 9, Dyson 8, Escobar 6 and Guthrie 1.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) September 21, 2013
Matt Garza will take the mound for the Rangers. The right-hander has been unspectacular in Texas; he owns a 4.94 ERA with a 4.04 FIP. His strikeout and walk numbers have remained similar since being traded from the Chicago Cubs, but his BABIP has risen 40 points and and his strand rate has dropped 18%.
Elvis Andrus is hitting 21 percent below-league average, but has consistently hit in the No. 2 hole. It's like Ron Washington is trying to get himself fired after this season. The Rangers official Twitter account brings us their batting order:
#Rangers lineup in KC: Kinsler 2B, Andrus SS, Rios RF, Beltre 3B, Pierzynski C, Moreland 1B, Gentry LF, Murphy DH, Martin CF, Garza P— Texas Rangers (@Rangers) September 21, 2013
Not re-signing Josh Hamilton was the correct decision, but this team sorely misses his production he gave them.
Song of the Day: Earth, Wind & Fire - Shining Star
I have little to say about EWF and this song, other than they are awesome. I love the bass line in this track.