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Royals series preview: The Detroit Tigers

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The penultimate series of 2017 featuring the familiar and boring Tigers

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MLB: Minnesota Twins at Detroit Tigers Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals’ penultimate series of the 2017 season sees them playing host to the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers’ season is well past the point of having gone to pot. While the Royals’ campaign has hardly gone according to plan, the Tigers are challenging for the worst record in baseball after a July firesale left them bereft of any of their moveable talent.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Tuesday, September 26, 2017, 7:15 PM CDT - Aníbal Sánchez versus Jason Vargas (L)
  • Wednesday, September 27, 2017, 7:15 PM CDT - Jordan Zimmermann versus Jason Hammel
  • Thursday, September 28, 2017, 7:15 PM CDT - Daniel Norris (L) versus Danny Duffy (L)

Tigers at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Aníbal Sánchez 26 94.1 92 21.3 26 6.0 6.68 5.74 4.54 4.19 0.0 -1.0
Jason Vargas (L) 30 169.2 127 17.8 53 7.4 4.03 4.59 4.94 4.83 1.7 4.0
Jordan Zimmermann 28 154.0 100 14.5 43 6.2 6.19 5.27 5.43 5.22 0.9 0.1
Jason Hammel 31 174.1 139 17.9 46 5.9 5.32 4.44 4.98 4.67 1.9 1.3
Daniel Norris (L) 21 96.2 85 19.1 44 9.9 5.59 4.46 5.08 4.93 1.1 0.3
Danny Duffy (L) 23 142.0 126 21.4 38 6.5 3.68 3.45 4.36 4.27 3.3 3.5

The Royals will face the trio of Aníbal Sánchez, Jordan Zimmermann, and Daniel Norris. The first two are classic cases of the hazards of doling out tens of millions to free agent starting pitching, both the deadest of dead weight. A look at Sánchez’s peripherals suggest he may not be peak Kyle Davies—that he might be more like good Mark Redman. Zimmermann? Well, it’s hard to reconcile a 5.27 FIP over 154 innings with being nearly a win above replacement, but that’s the run environment in which we currently live. Daniel Norris? Well, the walks are and always have been a problem. His K-rate is down this year as he has struggled through more injuries, though many of his issues with run prevention can be tied to the defense behind him that has enabled opposing offenses to own a .353 BABIP against Norris.

Detroit Tigers position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Ian Kinsler 2B 598 22 88 51 14 .236 .313 .416 .313 92 2.4 2.2
Jose Iglesias SS 475 6 56 54 7 .263 .294 .379 .290 76 2.0 1.6
Nick Castellanos RF 641 25 71 96 4 .270 .318 .488 .339 109 1.9 0.5
Mikie Mahtook LF/CF 379 12 50 38 6 .276 .330 .457 .335 107 1.6 0.6
James McCann C 371 13 39 48 1 .255 .322 .423 .321 97 1.5 1.4
Jeimer Candelario (S) 3B 88 2 15 9 0 .355 .443 .526 .417 162 1.0 0.5
Alex Presley (L) OF 239 2 25 17 5 .317 .357 .407 .333 105 0.6 0.1
John Hicks C/DH 180 6 25 22 1 .273 .328 .455 .334 106 0.4 0.5
Efren Navarro (L) 1B 50 2 8 2 0 .233 .340 .442 .330 103 0.1 0.3
Bryan Holaday C 19 0 1 1 0 .263 .263 .316 .249 48 0.0 -0.1
Miguel Cabrera 1B/DH 529 16 50 60 0 .249 .329 .399 .312 91 -0.1 -0.8
Tyler Collins (L) OF 169 5 18 14 0 .193 .278 .333 .269 62 -0.2 0.1
Dixon Machado IF 162 1 16 11 1 .275 .313 .342 .286 73 -0.3 -0.6
Andrew Romine (S) Util 328 4 44 25 5 .230 .285 .342 .273 64 -0.4 -1.2
JaCoby Jones CF 137 3 11 12 4 .159 .226 .270 .221 29 -0.7 0.0

In the second half (a rough approximation of the true-talent level of this current incarnation of the Tigers), Detroit has managed a .266/.324/.434 triple-slash with a .324 wOBA and a 99 wRC+, the wOBA and wRC+ being identical to the Royals’ marks over that time. They’re arguably decent, though hardly world-beaters. Miguel Cabrera is traveling with the team, but he is suffering through two herniated discs with the treatment he is to receive shortly determining whether he’ll play again this season.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Tigers?

This poll is closed

  • 40%
    Royals sweep
    (31 votes)
  • 36%
    Royals take two of three
    (28 votes)
  • 11%
    Tigers take two of three
    (9 votes)
  • 11%
    Tigers sweep
    (9 votes)
77 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Monday, September 25.

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