The Royals are 3-2 since last we met here before a Saturday game. They could just as easily be 5-0 except that Wade Davis and Greg Holland both blew late leads. Something that seemed unfathomable in 2014 is all too fathomable in 2021. Still, the bullpen as a whole has been better than you think. It’s just that when things go wrong they go very wrong. Also, Wade Davis probably shouldn’t be a big-league relief pitcher anymore.
Brady Singer will take the mound for the Royals, today. The right-hander has impressed me quite a bit in his sophomore season. His ERA is only ten points lower than last year, but his FIP suggests he should be half a run better. This will be Singer’s third start against the Tigers already in this young season. The first was a great one in which he struck out eight while walking none and allowing only a single run in seven innings while collecting a win. His last start was not so great; he allowed four runs and couldn’t finish the fourth inning. That was the one in which Jorge Soler tried to put the team on his back but couldn’t quite get the job done.
The Tigers will counter with their ace, Matthew Boyd. Boyd is finally living up to the promise he had when the Tigers acquired him in the David Price deal back in 2015 with a 2.45 ERA in eight starts. Unfortunately for Tigers fans, he’s 2-4 over that period because the Tigers have an abysmal offense. Like Singer, Boyd has faced the Royals twice. He actually pitched in both of the games that Singer pitched and both were good starts. One saw him go eight innings and allow two runs, only one of which was earned, in taking a loss. The other saw him go six shutout innings but take a no-decision after Soler’s heroics.
If the Royals want to win this third matchup of the two pitchers they’ll probably need to find some more success against Boyd than they have recently. We’re getting to the point of the season where we’re about to have to start saying that the Royals offense just hasn’t put it all together yet and begin to acknowledge that Hunter Dozier, Jorge Soler, and Whit Merrifield may never actually be the hitters we hoped they would be, this season. Soler’s struggles in particular are concerning; at least Merrifield offers something on defense and Dozier has the second-best ISO on the team after Salvador Perez while offering positional versatility. Soler can only DH or occupy right field; his only value comes from his hitting and he’s not doing it.