Bruce Chen will start for Kansas City. The veteran has impressive traditional statistics, entering Sunday with a 6-2 record and a 2.81 ERA. Chen's peripherals, especially his 16% K%, suggest he's essentially the same pitcher this year that he was last season. His run-prevention is low thanks to a 81.1% LOB%, a 6% HR/FB% and a .253 BABIP.
There's no way Chen pitches this well next season (please don't extend him, Dayton) but he'll only start four more times this season. Chen's certainly capable of turning in four quality starts, but the Tigers could easily light him up; Detroit scored six runs on eight hits the last time they faced Chen.
George Kottaras is starting for Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain returns to the starting lineup, playing rightfield. David Lesky of Pine Tar Press brings us the Royals starting nine:
#Royals lineup vs. Fister: Gordon LF, Bonifacio 2B, Hosmer 1B, Butler DH, Moustakas 3B, Cain RF, Kottaras C, Dyson CF, Escobar SS, Chen P— David Lesky (@DBLesky) September 8, 2013
Emilio Bonifacio is hitting .314/.381/.395 with 13 steals since joining the Royals.
Doug Fister will take the mound for Detroit. Fister has turned in another strong campaign, posting a 3.66 ERA with a 3.27 FIP. The right-hander owns a 55.8% GB%, and has only walked 4.9% of batters faced this year.
The Tigers have acquired impact players three seasons in a row at the trade deadline; Fister in 2011, Anibal Sanchez in 2012 and Jose Iglesias in 2013. Dave Dombrowski appears to know what he's doing.
Alex Avila returns to the Tigers lineup, as does Andy Dirks. The Tigers official Twitter account brings us their batting order:
#Tigers lineup: Jackson 8, Hunter 9, Cabrera 5, Fielder 3, Martinez DH, Dirks 7, Infante 4, Avila 2, Iglesias 6. Fister is starting.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) September 8, 2013
FSKC is not carrying the game again; the Royals need a new TV deal yesterday. The Chiefs' season opener is today; some football talk is fine, since most local people will be watching the Chiefs. But let's try to keep the thread somewhat topical, especially once the Royals game starts.
Song of the Day: GZA - Cold World
"Cold World" is the fifth track off Liquid Swords, one of the best solo albums by a member of the Wu-Tang Clan. The album is best enjoyed as a whole, but the song is one of my favorite by The Genius.