In what looks on paper to be the most clearly advantageous matchup of the series for the Royals, Jason Vargas—a man shockingly in the conversation for the American League Cy Young Award thanks mostly to an ERA screaming for regression to the mean—faces off against Jordan Zimmermann. This is not the Jordan Zimmermann of yore.
Zimmermann has enjoyed pretty much the opposite of Vargas’s season. Virtually everything that can have gone wrong for the 110-Million-Dollar Man has gone wrong. Whether judging by any DIPS metric (FIP, xFIP, SIERA, or DRA) or ERA, he’s been a 5.00+ pitcher. His dongs are up. His K% is down more than 3.0% from career norms. His BB% is up more than 2.0% from career norms.
This Royals lineup will hope to come out of their funk with Zimmermann on the rubber.
Royals Tonight: Merrifield 4, Bonifacio 9, Cain 8, Hosmer 3, Perez 2, Moustakas 5, Escobar 6, Moss DH, Gordon 7 (LHP Vargas)— Rustin Dodd (@rustindodd) July 17, 2017
These will be the Tigers they face.