Remember when the Detroit Tigers where as intimidating as, well, finding a tiger in Detroit?
That team is not this Tigers team, though to be fair this Kansas City Royals team is not last year's Royals either. The AL Central has been and will probably continue to be a dogfight, as entering tonight the top four teams in the division were within 2.5 games of each other.
All that is to say that, while the Tigers aren't the Big Bad Guys anymore, winning against them is still important. Tonight begins the first game of a four-game series against Detroit, and the Royals could conceivably put the Tigers five games in their rear view mirrror with a sweep. The Royals have won their last 34 games at home (it feels) and are on their way to a 75-7 home record for the year (duh), so this is a good place to face them.
The Royals brought up Brett Eibner again, sending Reymond Fuentes to Omaha again. Tonight's lineup is thusly:
Danny Duffy gets the start for #Royals as they face the Tigers in tonight’s series opener. https://t.co/lhqACUUMFW pic.twitter.com/w6xdpjPRRv— #VoteRoyals (@Royals) June 16, 2016
Duffy has done his best Clayton Kershaw impression so far as a starter, with a 7.6 K/BB rate and a sub-three ERA in 38 innings. Meanwhile, he will face Justin Verlander, former ace. However, Verlander has quietly and rather deftly maneuvered around a velocity drop and has mostly kept his effectiveness, with a 3.49 and a 3.46 FIP over the last two years, respectively. Here's their lineup:
#Tigers lineup at KC pic.twitter.com/iMwTIoa0ZS— #VoteTigers (@tigers) June 16, 2016
Regardless of the battle at hand, we can all enjoy Eibner's hair.