The Detroit Tigers and Kansas City Royals begin a four game series tonight in Detroit. Originally it was scheduled as a three game series starting tomorrow, but there was a rain out on the 30th of April and that game is being made up today.
The Tigers go into the series trailing the Chicago White Sox by just one game in the AL Central after the latter were swept by the Los Angeles Angels over the weekend. The Tigers actually had a very good chance to go top, or at least draw level, go begging yesterday when they were swept in a double header by the Minnesota Twins. The Royals swept the last series against Detroit (in Kansas City), but before that this season had managed just one win against the Tigers and were swept twice. The Tigers start the series with their ace, Justin Verlander who is making a strong defence of his Cy Young award. Verlander has had two very good outings against the Royals this year and one very bad one in which he was touched for eight runs in under six innings. Still, that was very much an anomaly and the Tigers will be quite optimistic about taking an early lead in the series, particularly against Luke Hochevar against whom they have had success in the past.
The rest of the series looks a bit more promising for the Royals, however, with Bruce Chen, Jeremy Guthrie and Luis Mendoza scheduled to face Anibal Sanchez, Rick Porcello and Doug Fister respectively. All three of the Royals starters have been strong recently and although the batters are not exactly facing pie-chuckers they have had some success against those pitchers in the past. The Royals are certainly not favourites to win the series, but they will like their chances of getting out with a 2-2 draw if they play well. The White Sox will no doubt be watching with fingers crossed for that result as they have three theoretically easy games against the Cleveland Indians in which to try to return to winning ways.