The Kansas City Royals will look to put last night's shellacking behind them and keep their playoff hopes alive when they play the second game of the series against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium.
Danny Duffy will take the mound for Kansas City. The lefty has made four starts for the Royals, posting a 1.35 ERA over 20 innings. The run prevention has been nice, but you would like to see him last longer than five innings per start.
Duffy looks like the same pitcher he was before Tommy John surgery, which isn't exactly a compliment. He continues to miss bats at an impressive rate (24.7 K%), but is throwing too many pitches and walking too many batters (10.6% BB%) to work deep into games. It's nice to see he still owns his swing-and-miss stuff, but he really needs to improve his command.
The 24-year-old allowed one run in his last start, but could only make it through 3 2/3 innings before Ned Yost needed to remove him. Of course, he looked much better last time he faced the Tigers at home, tossing six shutout innings while only giving up one hit.
Duffy will square off against his opponent from last time, Justin Verlander. The right-hander has had a down season, posting a 3.59 ERA with a 3.49 FIP. Of course, he's still been worth 3.9 fWAR, so it's not like he's fallen of a cliff.
Verlander has seen his numbers slip in a few key categories; his strikeouts and LOB% are down, while his walks and BABIP are up. None of the changes are earth-shattering, but combined they have led to a less effective Verlander. He's still a dangerous opponent, and has still been able to pitch deep into games despite his "struggles."
Detroit appears to be sending the better pitcher to the mound, but that was also the case the last time these two met. Let's hope the Tigers used their alloted runs for the series last night, and that Duffy turns in another quality performance.