Kansas City begins tonight's contest half a game behind Cleveland for first place in the AL Central. Thanks in large part to a sweep of the Racists, the Royals vaulted back into the race following a long, exasperating eight-game slide.
This is why baseball seasons should not be taken as snapshots. With a season like this, it gets a little confusing drawing the lines of how the team is doing. Kansas City has won six of their last seven following the losing streak. Prior to that, however, they had won six in a row, and further still, thirteen of sixteen. From May 15th through last night's game, the Royals are 19-12, but it really hasn't felt like it.
Tonight, they face off against the Detroit Tigers in the third of a four-game set. Edinson Volquez (6-6, 3.90 ERA) faces off against Matt Boyd (0-1, 4.91). Volquez, in the big picture, has essentially been what the Royals expected him to be. At times, though—and much like the Royals season—Steady Eddie has felt like he is underperforming. Though he is only giving up 3.48 BB/9, he has walked four batters a game five times, totaling 29.2 innings in those games.
Matt Boyd is making just his fifth start of 2016 for the Tigers. In his career, he is 1-1 against Kansas City with a 5.59 ERA in 19.1 innings.