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Series preview: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians

The final home stand of the season begins with a visit from the Kansas City Royals as both teams try to compete for a playoff spot.

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Wade Davis and Salvador Perez
Wade Davis and Salvador Perez
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Sitting 3.5 games back of the last Wild Card berth, the Indians take on the Royals in basically a winner take all series. On Monday, the two teams will start with the Indians in their road uniforms and Kyle Crockett on the mound in the bottom of the tenth to complete the suspended game from August 31. Once that game reaches it conclusion, the regularly scheduled game will start.

  • Monday's game is at 7:05 PM (Duffy vs. Carrasco)
  • Tuesday's game is at 7:05 PM (Ventura vs. Salazar)
  • Wednesday's game is at 7:00 PM (Vargas vs. Bauer) [ESPN]

The Indians finally get a scheduled day off on Thursday, their first in 30 days. Then the Tampa Bay Rays visit Progressive in the final series of 2014.

Playoff Watch: Angels at A's, Mariners at Blue Jays, Orioles at Yankees.

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2014 Record

84-70

Runs/Game

4.0

10th

Runs/Game

3.9

5th

AL Central

2nd

OBP

312

11th

H/9

8.7

7th

Last 10

4-6

SLG

375

11th

BB/9

2.7

4th

Last 30

14-16

Steals

144

1st

SO/9

7.2

11th

As noted above, the last time these two teams played, the last half of the tenth had to be postponed due to severe weather running through Kansas City. Had the Tribe completed the victory that night, it would have been a three game sweep of the Royals. At that point the Royals were still tied for first. They then swept the Rangers to retain the top spot in the division. They last had the lead on September 10 when they salvaged the finale in Detroit. They just lost two of three to the Tigers and sit 1.5 games back of them.

The season series has been very close between these two teams. The Indians have eight wins to the Royals seven and the Tribe has only outscored them by five runs. The Indians have won five of seven in Progressive so far.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

C

Salvador Perez

R

580

260

691

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

516

271

715

2B

Omar Infante

R

549

253

633

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

474

212

638

SS

Alcides Escobar

R

588

281

690

LF

Alex Gordon

L

616

266

781

CF

Lorenzo Cain

R

471

299

752

RF

Nori Aoki

L

522

282

706

DH

Billy Butler

R

575

271

715

OF

Josh Willingham#

R

361

218

750

OF

Jerrod Dyson

L

285

273

658

DH

Raul Ibanez##

L

277

167

546

C

Erik Kratz

R

28

308

898

IF

Jayson Nix###

R

82

133

361

IF

Johnny Giavotella*

R

493

308

813

OF

Carlos Peguero*

L

418

266

912

C

Francisco Pena*

R

370

240

795

OF

Lane Adams**

R

465

269

779

OF

Terrance Gore***

R

287

218

542

# Includes Twins stats; ## Include Angels' stats; ### Includes stats with Phillies/Pirates; *Stats in AAA; **Stats in AA; *** Stats in A+

In the past two weeks, Aoki and Hosmer each have an OPS of 1000 and Cain is right behind them with a 995. Perez, Gordon and Infante are all below 600. The call-ups have gotten just seven plate appearances in that span, with Pena not even appearing once.

As a team, the Royals have hit 250/292/381 with a 289 BAbip. They have hit 14 homers, but the bulk of that is Moustakas' six, wearing out the Tribe staff. It is no surprise he leads all of the regulars with a 911 OPS and that is with a ridicuolously low 176 BAbip. However, the next closest is Hosmer at 767. Infante, Perez, Gordon and Aoki area all below 600 OPS, but Gordon and Perez do have two home runs each.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

IP

WHIP

K/9

James Shields

R

3.18

221.0

1.181

7.2

Jason Vargas

L

3.59

183.0

1.262

7.7

Yordano Ventura

R

3.19

172.0

1.279

7.7

Jeremy Guthrie

R

4.28

195.2

1.324

5.4

Danny Duffy

L

2.42

141.1

1.075

6.9

Greg Holland

R

1.52

59.1

0.944

13.0

Wade Davis

R

0.91

69.0

0.826

13.4

Kelvin Herrera

R

1.48

67.0

1.119

7.7

Aaron Crow

R

4.06

57.2

1.301

5.2

Jason Frasor#

R

2.80

45.0

1.289

9.0

Francisley Bueno

L

4.26

31.2

1.358

5.7

Scott Downs##

L

5.11

37.0

1.4686

6.1

Louis Coleman

R

6.16

30.2

1.793

5.6

Casey Coleman

R

5.73

11.0

1.818

4.1

Brandon Finnegan**

L

27.0

1.33

0.889

8.7

Liam Hendriks###

R

5.40

31.2

1.358

6.3

Tim Collins*

L

2.76

42.1

0.992

11.9

# Includes Rangers' stats; ## Includes White Sox stats; ### Includes Blue Jays stats, *Stats in AAA; ** Stats in A+/AA

Duffy was the starter in suspended game in the previous series, allowing two runs (one earned) in 6.2 innings on five hits and three walks. He only made one pitch in his subsequent start against the Yankees before being pulled due to injury. This is his first start since that injury. Overall, he has a 2.08 ERA in 21.2 innings, 1.108 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 versus the Tribe this year.

Ventura has a 2.05 ERA, 1.025 WHIP and 7.5 K/9 covering his past 4 starts against the Rangers, Yankees, Red Sox and White Sox. He is 2-0 in three Tribe starts with a 2.08 ERA, 0.969 WHIP and 5.8 K/9.

Vargas has a 6.10 ERA, 1.403 WHIP and 8.7 K/9 in his past four starts versus the Rangers, Red Sox and Tigers (twice). He is 1-1 with a 4.12 ERA, 1.220 WHIP and 5.5 K/9 in three starts against the Tribe, earning one win and taking one loss.

Crow, Hendriks and Casey Coleman have all struggled in the past 2 weeks, all with an ERA over 5.50. Crow has also struggled versus the Tribe, with five runs in six innings. Bu the rest of the pen has been really good. The H-D-H combo (Holland, Davis Herrera) has combined for 18 innings, a 1.50 ERA, 1.444 WHIP and 10.0 K/9. Davis has had the strangest line of the three, just one run, but eight hits, six walks and 10 strikeouts in six innings.

On the Shelf

  • IF Christian Colon [60 day DL], out for season
  • RP Luke Hochevar [60 day DL], out for season
  • P Michael Mariot [60 day DL], out for season

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2014

8

7

562

67

62

535

2013

10

9

526

81

83

489

Last 5*

50

41

549

484

422

562

Last 10*

105

78

574

985

821

583

All-Time

322

304

514

2923

2710

535

*Does not include 2014 stats

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