Thirteen of the fourteen teams in the American League have records over the last ten games between 6-4 and 4-6. Only the White Sox have a record outside those parameters with an 8-2 mark. The Royals, 4-6 over their last ten, once again take on the prohibitive divisional favorites who just managed to reach the .500 mark with last night's win over Kansas City.
The crafty one, Bruce Chen, takes the hill for Kansas City this afternoon. Chen is coming off a start that saw him tagged for six runs in 5.2 innings last time out. It was the third time in his last ten starts that Chen surrendered six runs. To be fair, Bruce has allowed three runs or less in the other seven of those ten starts. In 17 starts this year, Chen has a 4.83 earned run average and a 1.25 WHIP covering 95 innings of work.
The Tigers send the unfortunately named Doug Fister to the mound. The right-hander is 1-6 with a 4.61 ERA this season and has given up eight and six runs respectively in his last two starts; failing to make it out of the fifth in both. Prior to those two outings, Fister had gone six innings or more in six of his previous seven starts.
With a righty on the hill and Jeff Francoeur free falling to a .253/.290/.383 line with FOUR extra base hits since June 1st, it would seem like an ideal time to give The Leader a day off. Given the current Royals' roster, however, the alternative (an outfield that includes both Dyson and Bourgeois) might well be worse. Roster construction, boys and girls, it really is rocket science.
A couple of programming notes. The overflow thread might be delayed or non-existent today and the game summary will be a touch late. I know, I know, you all wait on pins and needles for our sage analysis. Have a stiff drink on me and dream of Wil Myers batting sixth while you wait.