I’m posting this every time the Yankees play the Royals (NSFW; language).
The Yankees make their first trip to the midwest starting today, as they kick off a four game series against the Royals. Regardless of what KC does on Wednesday, they’ll come into the series with the lowest win total in the Major (6 if they lose, 7 if they win).
(ALL STATS ACCURATE AS OF WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON)
KC on offense: Despite having an OPS of .742, good for fifth in the AL, the Royals have scored the third fewest runs in the league (86). They also have the fifth highest wOBA/wRC+ in the AL. Individually, Billy Butler (.315/.351/.551; .384 wOBA; 145 wRC+) and Mike Moustakas (.312/.369/.519; .389 wOBA; 148 wRC+) are leading the way. Eric Hosmer (.180/.263/.371; .279 wOBA; 73 wRC+) is still looking to find his way in the early going.
KC on the mound: Predictably, this has been a trouble spot for the Royals so far. They have the second worst ERA (5.51) in the AL. However, their 4.03 FIP suggests good times are to come on the mound, mostly thanks to the second lowest (8.5%) HR/FB rate in the junior circuit. No one seems to personify this more than Luke Hochevar. His ERA this year is a Garcia-like 7.36, though his FIP is at 2.94 (4.49 xFIP), as he hasn’t allowed a home run yet.
Phelps is making his starting debut for the Yankees, after holding his own in relief. Duffy has made three starts for the Royals this year, and has thrown to a 3.63/3.86/3.79 E/F/X split. He’s gotten a ton of punchouts (10.38 K/9, 28.2 K%), though he’s also issued his fair share of walks (5.19 BB/9; 14.1 BB%). His GB% is low at 34.1%. The lack of control displayed by the young lefty should play into the Yankees’ favor. He faced the Yankees once last year and they ripped him for 8 runs over 3 innings.
Bruce Chen is the quintessential veteran lefty with mediocre everything who manages to find a job each year. He’s got decent control, doesn’t strike a lot of guys out, and doesn’t get a lot of grounders. I fully expect him to throw a 1 hit shutout.
Saturday: Hiroki Kuroda vs. TBA.
I’ll update this whenever possible.
Sunday: Phil Hughes vs. Luke Hochevar.
Expectations: Like always, it’s hard to expect to win a four-game series, especially on the road. Split upcoming.
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