Sunday, June 5th, 2016; 1:10 PM ET, Progressive Field
Radio: Dubya Tam.
This afternoon the Indians can complete a sweep of the defending World Series champions. Baseball is not like boxing, where if you land one good series of punches and almost kill another man they throw a lot of trophies and belts at you. It is a much longer and more methodical process. If the Indians leave the Royals in the dustpan today they'll sit seven games above .500 with 107 more to play.
The Indians send Corey Kluber to the mound to start today's contest. Since Kluber is a starting pitcher, this is an excellent managerial decision. The Royals, a savvy team in their own right, have matched this wise move by starting Chris Young, another starting pitcher. Benevolent members of the media suggest that Chris Young is struggling this season, logging two wins against five losses with an ERA of 5.94.
Kluber chases the brilliance of his 2014 campaign. In recent starts he appears close enough to grab that level of command and consistency once more, only for his reaching hand to be slapped away by a long home run.
While we're on the topic of home runs, Mike Napoli slugged six in his last twelve games. I've just run the numbers: this spreadsheet is telling me that if he continues to hit home runs at this pace he'll have #REF! home runs at the end of the season. Unprecedented.
After you look at this list of lineups, I will make a bold and foolish prediction about today's game.
|KANSAS CITY ROYALS||CLEVELAND INDIANS|
|Alcides Escobar - SS||Carlos Santana - 1B|
|Whit Merrifield - 2B||Jason Kipnis - 2B|
|Eric Hosmer - 1B||Francisco Lindor - SS|
|Salvador Perez - C||Mike Napoli - DH|
|Kendrys Morales - DH||Lonnie Chisenhall - RF|
|Paulo Orlando - RF||Rajai Davis - LF|
|Reymond Fuentes - LF||Yan Gomes - C|
|Cheslor Cuthbert - 3B||Tyler Naquin - CF|
|Jarrod Dyson - CF||Juan Uribe - 3B|
|Chris Young - RHP||Corey Kluber - RHP|
Prediction: Yan Gomes and his new glasses crush two home runs and Horace Grant will tweet something about it.