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Game CXXV Thread: The Orioles of Baltimore versus the Royals of Kansas City

Danny Duffy tries to prove he belongs in the postseason rotation against the Royals' ALCS foes, the Baltimore Orioles.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

After an encouraging first start from Kris Medlen, the pressure is on Danny Duffy to prove that he could ably fill the role of the number four starter in the rotation for the playoffs. Johnny Cueto and Edinson Volquez are clearly in, and Yordano Ventura's last three starts have been rock solid. The last spot likely comes down to last night's starter and tonight's.

For the second straight season, Duffy's strikeout rates have plummeted (5.39 K/9, 13.7 K%). Unfortunately, his walk rates (3.48 BB/9, 9.0 BB%) are nearer his career rates (3.86 BB/9, 10.1 BB%), which is not a positive development as last year marked a serious leap in an area that had previously been in dire need of improvement.

Emerging from the other dugout for the start will be Miguel Gonzalez. Much like the bulk of the rest of the Baltimore rotation, the 31-year-old righty has enjoyed much less success than he did last year. Of course, in Gonzalez's case, he was the beneficiary of a significant amount of good batted-ball luck last year, enjoying a .273 BABIP and an unsustainable 85.5 LOB%. Those numbers have regressed to the mean, and his ERA has jumped much closer to his DIPS metrics last year would have suggested they should have been.

2013 3.23 4.89 4.46 4.40
2014 4.73 4.99 4.28 4.30

This is the Royals' Dyson-less lineup tonight.:

And the Orioles: