Our Royals visit the Orioles in Baltimore this weekend for a three game series.
Buck Showalter has used 18 lineups in 21 games. This is the most likely lineup according to MLB Depth Charts. That Nelson Cruz signing sure looks good, doesn't it?
Showalter will platoon Lough and Flaherty with Schoop and Young.
Baltimore's pitching has not been good in the early going. They rank near the bottom in strikeout rate and team ERA. Their collective 1.3 HR/9 is the highest in the American League. They splashed the cash on Ubaldo Jimenez last February, but haven't seen the dividends. The match ups for this series seem to favor the Royals. But we can say that just about every time they pitch James Shields and Yordano Ventura in the same series.
The bullpen has been a little better than the rotation so far.
From Daily Baseball Data, here's how Showalter has used his bullpen over the last seven days.Tommy Hunter is The Closer with Darren O'Day and Ryan Webb in setup roles.
Last season, the Orioles fielded a solid defense, particularly up the middle. This season they have been less successful finding the outs.