The Kansas City Royals will attempt to sweep the Detroit Tigers on Sunday when they face off against the AL Central leaders at Kauffman Stadium.
James Shields will start for Kansas City. Shields has pitched as advertised, posting a 3.21 ERA and 3.47 FIP in 134 2/3 innings. The starter pitched like a legitimate ace the first six weeks of the season, but has since settled in closer to his career numbers.
Shields has started twice against Detroit this season, and has allowed five runs over 15 innings against the Tigers. Rabble rabble rabble BIG GAME JAMES rabble rabble rabble.
Jarrod Dyson is playing centerfield today, with Lorenzo Cain shifting over to right. David Lesky of Pine Tar Press brings us the Royals lineup:
#Royals lineup vs. Fister: Gordon LF, Hosmer 1B, Butler DH, Perez C, Cain RF, Moustakas 3B, Tejada 2B, Escobar SS, Dyson CF, Shields P— David Lesky (@DBLesky) July 21, 2013
Doug Fister will take the mound for Detroit. Fister has a 4.02 ERA through 19 starts, but his 3.35 FIP suggests he has pitched better than his ERA suggests. The right-hander's peripherals have barely changed, but his BABIP has risen .24 points since last season, and his LOB% is lower than his career-average as well.
Fister has faced the Royals once this season, and he allowed three runs on nine hits over eight innings. Hopefully Kansas City employs a more patient approach against Fister this time around, as they were successful taking pitches against Justin Verlander on Saturday night.
Brayan Pena will start at catcher for Detroit, while Victor Martinez will play first and Prince Fielder will DH. The Tigers official Twitter account brings us the Detroit starting nine:
#Tigers lineup: Jackson 8, Hunter 9, Cabrera 5, Fielder DH, Martinez 3, Peralta 6, Dirks 7, Peña 2, Santiago 4. Fister is starting.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 21, 2013
A win today, and some people (few here) will start to buy-back into this team and their chances of contending. This game is about as important as they come in July.
Song of the Day: Explosions in the Sky - The Birth and Death of the Day
Hailing from Austin TX, the land of Old Man Duggan, Explosions in the Sky are one of the most well-known post-rock bands. They put on a fantastic live show; the band is opening for Nine Inch Nails at the Sprint Center in the fall, and will steal the show if Trent Reznor isn't on top of his game.