The Royals had been going with a six-man rotation for the past couple of weeks but last night used tonight’s projected starter, Carlos Hernández in relief. Despite the fact that he is the one who made the relief appearance the safer bet going forward would be that Kris Bubic, of the near-no-hitter from last weekend - will be the one headed to the bullpen if the Royals are truly shifting to a five-man rotation and not just improvising due to Bubic’s ineffectiveness last night.
Since Hernández is not starting tonight, rookie left-hander Daniel Lynch gets moved up a day. Lynch has been very good since rejoining the rotation in late July. He’ll have a chance to face a tough team in the Mariners this afternoon. It’s easy to think of them as bottom-dwellers but they have a winning record and are competing with the Astros and As for the AL West Division Crown. They are only a handful of games behind the Red Sox for the second Wild Card spot, as well.
The Mariners will be relying on left-handed starter Tyler Anderson. Anderson is in his sixth big-league season and with his fourth club, but this is the first one in the American League so don’t feel too bad if you’ve never heard of him before. Since joining the Mariners he’s pitched quite well, accruing a 3.00 ERA in five starts. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a game, but he also hasn’t pitched more than six innings or struck out more than four. He has filled up the strike zone and only walked three batters so the free-swinging Royals should feel quite comfortable.
Last night’s hero, Edward Olivares will be in the lineup. Neither of the much-maligned rightfield duo of Hunter Dozier or Ryan O’Hearn are in the lineup. Has Olivares’ heroics combined with the failures of the others finally earned him an opportunity to spend more than one consecutive week in the big leagues? Only time can tell.