Let's start off with the bad news: the Detroit Tigers have ripped the poor Kansas City Royals to shreds recently. In 2014, the Royals went a horrid 6-13 against Detroit. The Tigers consistently made the Royals look like fools, and their particularly poor play against Detroit prevented them from winning the division. The Tigers also lead the Royals by half a game, and three or four losses against the Tigers in this series would definitely harm the Royals' chances of winning the division again.
The good news: this is a new year, and 6-13 doesn't have to happen. The Royals, now forged through the flames of the World Series, are no strangers of high-stakes baseball. Also of good news is that the Royals are playing at Kauffman Stadium, where they own a 7-2 record this year.
To the mound for the Royals today comes Danny Duffy. Duffy has been pretty decent this year, with a 4.15 ERA and a 3.86 FIP. He's been unlucky to a degree, as his BABIP and LOB% this year are both worse than his career averages. The Tigers will counter with Alfredo Simon, who in four starts has been fantastic with a 1.65 ERA. Simon's career numbers are significantly worse than that, and unlike Duffy, Simon has been the beneficiary of some great luck (.256 BABIP, 85.9 LOB%).
The lineup is modified due to Alcides Escobar's injury:
Christopher Colon gets the start at shortstop, and Alex Gordon leads off. Gordon has an OPS of 1.094 during the past 13 games. Good call.