The season series between these two intradivisional pseudo-rivals was previously colored by an ugly bench-clearing incident that led to a slew of suspensions, including tonight's starter for the Pail Hoes, Jeff Samardzija, who seemed intent on playing the part of instigator from Jump Street.
Samardzija's season has since devolved into "Unmitigated Disaster" Territory. Wolves, etc. are thought to be nearby and could strike any day. His K-rates (18.1 K%, 6.96 K/9) have dropped precipitously with his full-time move to the American League, and his fastball and slider have both turned into pitches with negative values this season. He has increased the frequency with which he has thrown his cutter--a development that would have surprised no one given his move to the South Side--in an effort to combat the ineffectiveness he has experienced with his other pitches.
While it is tempting to blame the entirety of the Pail Hose disappointing 2015 on Samardzija, he is just one man. His 5.04 ERA, 4.18 FIP, 4.30 xFIP, and 4.17 SIERA have meant he's been worth just 2.7 fWAR and 0.1 rWAR--surely not the return for which Rick Hahn hoped when they traded Marcus Semien and a box of rocks to Oakland for one year of Samardzija.
Tonight's Royals' line-up, especially the left-handed hitters, will get the chance to feast upon the righty who has allowed a .356 wOBA against lefties. They will align themselves thusly:
The apparent starter of Game Two of the ALDS, Johnny Cueto, will continue to attempt to re-tune himself before the playoffs. He will face the following Vine-up:
And before anyone jumps to some nonsense about how villainous the Pale Hose are, watch this:
Tunes for your butts.