clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals series preview

Coming off their first non-losing series since mid-April, the Tribe try to win their first divisional matchup of the year with a quick trip to Kansas City and the defending AL Champion Royals.

The newest Royal starter, Edinson Volquez
The newest Royal starter, Edinson Volquez
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals continue to sit at the Detroit Tigers heels at the top of the division after a split in Detroit over the weekend. Cleveland heads to Kansas City to try and finally win a divisional Series. They have played six so far and are 0-5-1. If they want to make any headway in the division, a win in this week's series and next week's versus the Twins will go a long way.

  • Tuesday's game is at 8:10 PM (Salazar vs. Vargas)
  • Wednesday's game is at 8:10 PM (Carrasco vs. Duffy)
  • Thursday's game is at 2:10 PM (Kluber vs. Volquez)

The Indians fly home Thursday evening to as the Twins invade Progressive for the last of the divisional two-fers in the first month of action. The St. Louis Cardinals will follow the Twins early next week before the Tribe takes to the road again.

Division Watch: Tigers at White Sox, A's at Twins.

Team in a Box

Kansas City Royals

Offense

AL Rank

Pitching

AL Rank

2015 Record

16-9

Runs/Game

5.1

3rd

Runs/Game

3.3

1st

AL Central

2nd

OBP

349

1st

H/9

7.3

3rd

Last 10

5-5

SLG

434

3rd

BB/9

2.8

5th

Last 30

-

Steals

21

3rd

SO/9

6.8

9th

As noted above, the Royals split over the weekend in Detroit, but it could have been much better as they did win the first two in the four gamer before the Tigers won on Saturday and Sunday. The suspensions for the White Sox melee have finally taken hold of the roster. After Yordano Ventura's start last week against the Tribe, he dropped his appeal, ensuring he would miss this series. Lorenzo Cain dropped his appeal Saturday night and missed Sunday's game and will also sit out Tuesday's game.

-

Editor's Note: SB Nation's partner FanDuel is hosting a $100,000 one-day fantasy baseball league today. It's $3 to join and first place wins $8,000. Enter now!

-

So that means the Royals will operate with a two man bench on Monday, the backup catcher Erik Kratz (who had has only 5 plate appearances this year) and recently called up utility guy Orlando Calixte. Alcides Escobar has also landed on the 7-day DL due to a concussion so Christian Colon takes over for him. Finally, closer Greg Holland may be activated at some point during this series.

Projected Roster

Pos

Player

Bats

PA

BA

OPS

wRC+

C

Salvador Perez

R

98

326

810

121

1B

Eric Hosmer

L

112

313

886

147

2B

Omar Infante

R

76

247

592

61

3B

Mike Moustakas

L

114

324

855

141

SS

Christian Colon

R

42

282

667

89

LF

Alex Gordon

L

92

269

829

133

CF

Lorenzo Cain @

R

102

333

902

148

RF

Paulo Orlando

R

64

250

730

98

DH

Kendrys Morales

S

110

314

844

131

OF

Jerrod Dyson

L

32

233

491

37

C

Erik Kratz

R

5

000

000

-100

IF

Orlando Calixte

R

1

000

000

-100

@ Suspended for Tuesday's game

Gordon was the star of last week's series with a 455/571/909 slash. In fact, Moustakas, Hosmer were both over 1000 and Morales and Infante both cracked 800. Only Cain really struggled.

In the past week, Hosmer has been the hitting star (1026 OPS) and Morales has 10 RBI. Dyson, Cain, Infante and Moustakas all have sub-700 OPS in the same timeframe.

Projected Staff

Player

Throws

ERA

FIP

IP

WHIP

K/9

Yordano Ventura @

R

4.94

4.99

27.1

1.21

6.6

Danny Duffy

L

3.45

3.37

28.2

1.40

7.2

Edinson Volquez

R

2.10

2.72

34.1

0.93

7.1

Jason Vargas

L

5.95

5.41

19.2

1.73

4.1

Jeremy Guthrie

R

6.52

5.75

29.0

1.59

3.4

Wade Davis

R

0.00

1.23

10.0

0.50

9.9

Ryan Madson

R

1.38

2.66

13.0

0.69

9.7

Kelvin Herrera

R

1.74

2.84

10.1

1.36

10.5

Franklin Morales

L

1.80

2.23

10.0

0.70

5.4

Jason Frasor

R

0.00

2.68

9.0

1.11

8.0

Chris Young

R

1.23

3.13

14.2

0.62

8.6

Yohan Pino

R

0.00

1.63

10.2

0.66

6.8

Brandon Finnegan

L

2.25

6.63

4.0

1.00

9.0

@ Suspension ends on Friday

Vargas will be the only repeat starter the Tribe sees as manager Ned Yost switched him and let Guthrie pitch Sunday instead. He beat the Tribe 6-2 last Tuesday. It wasn't pretty though as he gave up three hits and five walks in his five innings of work. But only two runs crossed the plate. The Royals will throw a second leftie in Duffy in Wednesday's game. He was great in his four starts last year, just 5 earned runs in 27.2 innings and 26 strikeouts. Then the Tribe gets to face James Shields' replacement, Volquez. He has been the ace so far in 2015. He has only three career starts against the Tribe, the last in 2011, where he got tattooed for seven runs in 2.2 innings.

The Tribe hitters actually fared well against the best bullpen in the league, plating three guys off Finnegan, Madson and Morales. But against Davis, Pino, Young, Herrera and Frasor, the Indians got just one baserunner in 5 innings and struck out four times.

On the Shelf

  • RP Tim Collins [60 day DL], out for season
  • SS Alcides Escobar [7 day DL], possible May return
  • RP Greg Holland [15 day DL], possible May 5 return
  • RP Luke Hochevar [15 day DL], possible May return, on AAA rehab
  • SP Kris Medlen [60 day DL], possible midseason return
  • RF Alex Rios [15 day DL], possible May return

Almanac

W

L

Pct

RS

RA

Pythag

2015

1

2

333

14

22

304

2014

10

9

526

74

76

488

Last 5*

50

42

543

474

411

565

Last 10*

104

79

568

965

810

579

All-Time

324

308

513

2944

2746

532

*Does not include 2015 stats

Prediction: With two lefties and Volquez going, I think the Tribe will be lucky to grab more than one game. Although the offense is heating up, I fear Salazar and Carrasco right now. I'll stick with the 1-2 prediction.