Kansas City: 48-78
||-24.0 (29th)||-12.9 (23rd)||KCA|
Thank you Oakland, for playing like your record would have you seem to play. And welcome, Kansas City, a team who is just as bad as their record indicates.
In the 20 games since we last previewed the Royals, Yuniesky Betancourt has a .778 OPS with three triples and five walks. However, he's now down to a -8.6 UZR in just 315.1 innings with Kansas City, a remarkable -32.2 UZR/150 rating.
Game 1: Doug Fister vs. Kyle Davies
Game 2: Felix Hernandez vs. Brian Bannister
Game 3: Ian Snell vs. Gil Meche
Game 4: Ryan Rowland-Smith* vs. Zack Greinke
Kansas City's bullpen is bad and their hitters are atrocious, but their rotation is decent and unlike last time around, we're getting the full brunt of it. Kyle Davies sucks, but Brian Bannister is a legitimately good pitcher this year, Gil Meche is roughly average with the potential to be really good and Zack Greinke is amazingly awesome with the potential to be a beautiful monarch butterfly.
And even though it's a well above average group, the four starters we face will all be right-handed which means perhaps some relief for Russell Branyan and Michael Saunders as well as some possible time off for Bill Hall, hopefully an Ichiro! return and a whole lot of Monsieur Griff.
At stake in this series is not only Robert's danglers, but also a possible first overall draft pick standing. The Royals "trail" the Nationals by 3.5 games (with Washington currently playing and winning) for the worst record in the Majors right now, a winning series against the Mariners would be disastrous for them at this critical juncture.