Last year, the Royals won just one of the six series with the Detroit Tigers. They lost all three home sets with the eventual AL Central champions. Today, they can turn that around and buck another trend that has been a theme of this early season - finally knocking down hurdles and defeating pitchers that have owned them in years past.
First, it was John Danks. Then Hector Santiago. Chris Sale and Corey Klubler had both given the Royals problems, and they knocked the door down on both of them. Today, it's time to defeat Anibal Sanchez, who has the best ERA of any starter (min. seven starts) against Kansas City. In his last four outings versus the Royals, he's allowed one run in each and gone at least seven innings in all four. However, he's struggled in his first few starts of 2015, as he heads into Sunday's game sporting a lofty 5.46 ERA.
Jeremy Guthrie's numbers aren't much better. His 5.87 ERA is the worst among all Royals starters. He's struggled mightily against the Tigers in his career, even though he finally slowed down Miguel Cabrera last season. However, he was the only Royals starter to defeat Detroit twice last year, and he was on the mound in Kansas City's home finale victory over the Tigers last September.
Lorenzo Cain has the day off, but other than that, it's a pretty standard lineup for Ned Yost's Royals. The lineups for both teams are as followed:
With a win today, the Royals can match half of their win total against Detroit from last year already, with 15 games still remaining between the two teams. More importantly, the winner of today's game will sit atop the AL Central.