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Royals series preview: The Detroit Tigers

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MLB: Game Two-New York Mets at Houston Astros
Not a Tiger
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Having sold off Justins Verlander and Upton in the past week, it’s safe to say these aren’t your father’s Tigers. The future may look a bit brighter for the Tigers as they’ve begun to restock a previously barren farm system, but as the makeup of their roster pertains to this series, things couldn’t have worked out better for a Royals club that needs a lot of things to break the right way if they want to stay in the playoff picture.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Monday, September 4, 12:10 PM CDT - Jake Junis versus Artie Lewicki
  • Tuesday, September 5, 6:10 PM CDT - Jason Vargas (L) versus Aníbal Sánchez
  • Wednesday, September 6, 6:10 PM CDT - Jason Hammel versus Matt Boyd (L)

Royals at Tigers 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
Jake Junis 14 63.1 57 20.7 18 6.5 4.41 4.62 4.83 4.35 0.5 0.7
Artie Lewicki - - - - - - - - - - - -
Jason Vargas (L) 26 151.1 112 17.6 45 7.1 3.87 4.51 4.92 4.81 1.7 3.6
Aníbal Sánchez 22 77.2 68 19.1 21 5.9 6.95 6.20 4.77 4.40 -0.4 -1.3
Jason Hammel 27 155.2 119 17.6 41 6.1 4.80 4.47 5.01 4.72 1.7 1.9
Matt Boyd (L) 21 103.1 85 17.9 44 9.3 5.92 4.58 5.06 5.01 1.4 -0.2

At this juncture, there aren’t many occasions in which the Royals can lay claim to holding an advantage in every pitching matchup, but with the Tigers having sold off Verlander and Aníbal Sánchez backing his way into the rotation, it’s easy to believe the Royals do in fact have that advantage in each matchup. Of course Artie Lewicki is making his first major-league start, which is the Royals’ kryptonite.

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 513 14 75 39 13 .237 .316 .387 .306 87 2.0 1.9
José Iglesias SS 427 5 50 50 7 .263 .297 .375 .290 76 1.9 2.1
James McCann C 311 13 35 41 1 .264 .332 .448 .334 106 1.5 1.8
Mikie Mahtook LF 333 10 44 32 3 .275 .330 .452 .334 106 1.4 0.9
Nick Castellanos 3B/DH 558 19 63 76 3 .252 .306 .451 .320 97 1.0 0.3
John Hicks C 139 4 21 18 1 .302 .360 .492 .362 126 0.7 0.7
Alex Presley (L) RF 175 1 18 12 4 .304 .349 .379 .319 96 0.3 -0.3
Bryan Holaday C 5 0 0 1 0 .600 .600 .800 .597 286 0.1 0.1
Jeimer Candelario (S) 3B 9 0 2 0 0 .333 .333 .333 .292 78 0.0 0.0
Andrew Romine (S) Util 286 4 42 21 5 .239 .299 .363 .288 75 0.0 -0.5
JaCoby Jones CF 88 1 6 7 2 .167 .261 .244 .233 37 0.0 0.2
Dixon Machado IF 135 1 13 11 1 .287 .331 .352 .299 82 0.0 -0.2
Efrén Navarro (L) 1B 10 0 0 0 0 .200 .200 .200 .175 -2 -0.1 -0.1

With Miguel Cabrera serving a suspension (along with Alex Wilson), the already thinned out Tiger herd is even thinner. If ever there were a series that even a struggling Royals club should coast through, it would be this one. Let’s hope they don’t get swept.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in Detroit?

This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Royals sweep
    (27 votes)
  • 29%
    Royals take two of three
    (14 votes)
  • 8%
    Tigers take two of three
    (4 votes)
  • 4%
    Tigers sweep
    (2 votes)
47 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Sunday, September 3.

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