So far this year the Royals have lost every series they’ve played, except one. The one was a snow-shortened, two-game set that they split against these very Detroit Tigers in the second series of the season. If they win today they will guarantee another such split and provide themselves an opportunity to win, tomorrow.
Going on the hill for the Royals today will be their ace lefty, Danny Duffy. Duffy is going on short rest due to all the delays the Royals have faced early this season combined with the team’s lack of desire to make any changes to the roster. He last pitched against the Blue Jays in the second half of a doubleheader on Tuesday. He pitched 6 innings while striking out 8 but also used 100 pitches. Odds are good he won’t be able to go deep into today’s game.
The Tigers will counter with veteran right-handed starter Mike Fiers. Going by the raw stats Fiers has been pretty good in his first two starts wearing a Tigers uniform going 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA across 11.2 innings. He has struck out 5 times as many batters as he has walked, though he has already allowed a pair of home runs. However, if you look more closely he’s had two very different starts, so far, this year. His first start was 6 shut out innings against the White Sox while his second start saw him allow both of his home runs and 5 earned runs total against the Yankees in only 5.1 innings. Of course the relative strengths of those two lineups is pretty drastically different. If I had to bet, I’d bet Fiers’ line against the Royals will be much closer to the one against the White Sox than the one against the Yankees.