Bruce Chen will take the mound for Kansas City. Chen has been fantastic as a starter and out of the bullpen this season, posting a 1.62 ERA in 72 1/3 innings. It doesn't take a sabermagician to tell you that Chen has no business pitching this well, and cannot be expected to moving forward. His BABIP is .236 and his HR/FB is 5.4%. Those numbers will regress, potentially in a hurry.
With how well Chen has pitched recently, it's easy to feel like the Royals have a good chance of staying in the game. I really don't know what to expect from the veteran southpaw, anything from seven shutout innings to six runs over two frames wouldn't shock me.
Mike Moustakas is out of the lineup after being lifted for Jamey Carroll on Saturday. Hopefully the move is precautionary, and Moose can return full-time soon. Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star brings us the Royals batting order:
#Royals vs. Det RHP Scherzer: Lough 9, Hosmer 3, Butler DH, Gordon 7, Perez 2, Bonifacio 5, Getz 4, Escobar 6, Dyson 8 and Chen 1.— Bob Dutton (@Royals_Report) August 18, 2013
I think I like Emilio Bonifacio, but don't really have a good explanation for why.
Max Scherzer will start for Detroit. The right-hander has dominated opponents by whatever metrics you want to use, owning a 17-1 record with a 2.85 ERA and 2.69 FIP. Scherzer basically has the AL Cy Young award wrapped up; he's definitely deserving, but other strong candidates like Felix Hernandez, Derek Holland and Chris Sale are getting overshadowed by Scherzer's ridiculous win totals. Such is life.
Brayan Pena is back in the Tigers lineup after getting tossed from the game Saturday night. Torii Hunter and Ramon Santiago also return to the field. The Tigers official Twitter account brings us their starting nine:
#Tigers lineup: Jackson 8, Hunter 9, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Martinez DH, Dirks 7, Pena 2, Santiago 4, Iglesias 6. Scherzer is starting.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) August 18, 2013
Let's hope Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder don't combine for two doubles and two home runs today.
Song of the Day: Tyr - The Wild Rover
A progressive metal version of the classic Irish drinking song. There's been a ton of covers of "The Wild Rover," but this happens to be the one that I like best.