Last year, the Kansas City Royals played an absurd number of good teams, comparatively, through the first three quarters of the short season. It was a quirk of scheduling, combined with only playing teams from the AL and NL Central divisions. This year, we’ve seen the Royals play more teams with losing records, and they’ve done well. They are 10-4 over their last 14 games, most of which have come against mediocre or bad teams. And that’s fine! You want to beat up against the bad teams!
The Detroit Tigers are one of those bad teams, because they cannot hit, and most of their top prospects are still in the minor leagues. They will likely be a very different team in September. But it is April, and games in April count, and today the Royals are going to be hunting for their first four-game road sweep since the 90s.
It will depend mostly on Brad Keller, who has been genuinely awful in all but one of his starts this year. Keller, the opening day starter, has been the Royals’ best pitcher over the previous two seasons. Can the former Rule 5 pick (seriously, what a grab by Kansas City) turn it around? If it can’t be done against the anemic Tigers offense, we probably have a bigger problem on our hands than just a series of uncharacteristically poor performances, which can, to be fair, happen to anybody.
Hey look! They chose the same picture as I did! Neat.