After a rather disappointing loss on Monday, the Royals are back at it with their second of six consecutive day games as they take on the Tigers. After squandering an Opening Day opportunity when Justin Verlander was okay but not great and Detroit's defense committed two errors, they will roll out the same lineup today:
- Aoki RF, Infante 2B, Hosmer 1B, Butler DH, Gordon LF, Perez C, Moustakas 3B, Cain CF, Escobar SS
Jason Vargas, he of the major announcement fame, will toe the rubber for the Royals. In his career, Vargas has made five starts against the Tigers, compiling a 4.60 ERA over 29.1 innings of work. The Tigers' Ian Kinsler has faced Vargas more than any other hitter, compiling a .273/.333/.455 triple slash against him. Other with relevant PA's against Jason:
- Torii Hunter - 33 PA: .276/.364/.414
- Austin Jackson - 15 PA: .143/.133/.143
No one else in the Tigers' lineup has faced Vargas more than 12 times. I don't know at what point those numbers move from 'interesting' to 'relevant'. Unlike the Royals' esteemed field general, I am pretty certain the number is somewhere north of 15 and likely beyond 30. Make of it what you will.
Jeff broke down Max Scherzer in detail yesterday and, this just in, he is really freaking good. Today will be Scherzer's 18th career start against Kansas City. He has a 9-4 record (because that matters) and a 3.44 ERA over 99 innings of work. Not surprisingly, a number of Royals are among those who have faced the Tiger hurler the most, with Billy Butler having faced Max more than any other hitter.
- Butler - 55 PA: .255/.286/.298
- Gordon - 35 PA: .393/.514/.714
- Escobar - 29 PA: .241/.241.448
- Hosmer - 28 PA: .200/.250/.280
- Moustakas - 23 PA: .130/.130/.174
The Detroit lineup today:
Kinsler 2B, Collins LF, Cabrera 1B, Martinez DH, Hunter RF, Jackson CF, Avila C, Castellanos 3B, Gonzalez SS
I disparaged the bottom part of the Tigers' lineup in a comment before opening day and you all saw what happened. So, for today, Gonzalez is the very best shortstop in baseball. THE...VERY..BEST.