Ervin Santana will start for Kansas City. Santana continues to impress, as he owns a 3.03 ERA and 3.50 xFIP over 21 starts. The right-hander has kept his walk rate near career-low levels, and averages nearly 7 innings per start. The Royals bullpen could use a long start from Santana, as the past two games against the Mets have gone into extra innings.
David Lough will hit leadoff, followed by Miguel Tejada in the No. 2 hole. Joel Goldberg of FSKC brings us the Royals starting nine:
#Royals vs RHP Wheeler: Lough 9 Tejada 4 Hosmer 3 Gordon 7 Cain 8 Moose 5 Escobar 6 Kottaras 2 Santana 1— Joel Goldberg (@goldbergkc) August 4, 2013
George Kottaras is starting his second straight game; Salvador Perez was placed on the 7-day DL with a "low-grade" concussion.
Zack Wheeler will take the mound for New York. The Mets acquired Wheeler from the San Francisco Giants in 2011 for half of a season of Carlos Beltran. Wheeler quickly established himself as one of the best pitching prospects in the game, and has made eight starts for the Mets since his promotion.
Wheeler has a nice 4-1 record with a solid 3.55 ERA, but his 4.79 xFIP and 4.76 SIERA tell a different story. The rookie has battled his control, posting a 18.7% K% with an 11.7% BB%. The Royals would be wise to take pitches against Wheeler so they can chase him early, giving them as many opportunities to hit against a taxed Mets bullpen.
Former Royals catcher John Buck returns to the New York lineup on Sunday, while Josh Satin moves to third base so Ike Davis can play first. Eric Simon of Amazin' Avenue brings us the Mets batting order:
New York really misses David Wright in the middle of the lineup.
The game starts at 12:10 p.m. CT, with FSKC and KCSP 610 carrying the game locally.
Song of the Day: Rancid - Roots Radical
"Roots Radical" is the the third song on my favorite Rancid album, ...And Out Come the Wolves. Nothing particularly groundbreaking here, just a solid punk song from a band that tends to get overshadowed by their early-90's contemporaries.