The Kansas City Royals finally exploded on offense yesterday to make the most out of their West Coast road trip. After scoring nine to earn a winning record over these last two series, KC now rests and prepares for their two upcoming games against the surging Colorado Rockies. The Royals will bring their ace James Shields to the mound tomorrow, and Colorado’s veteran lefty Franklin Morales will try to match his efforts.
In order for KC to win these two games with the Rockies, they’ll have to hold down a white-hot Colorado offense. If Shields and Game 2 starter Jason Vargas manage to cool them down, KC still needs to put up some offense of their own against starters with which they have little to no experience.
No Royal has more than four at-bats against Morales, so KC could once again struggle against an arm that’s unknown to them. Morales currently owns a 5.13 ERA, which is high, but not too far off from his 4.49 career ERA. Game 2’s starter for the Rockies, however, has a career ERA that’s nearly a run lower than Morales’, so he could be due for a solid start.
In his five MLB seasons, 26-year-old Jhoulys Chacin has a 3.63 ERA in exactly 100 starts. Nori Aoki caught a glimpse of Chacin in the National League and went four for nine with three homers against him, but the Royals’ benchwarmer/pinch runner Jimmy Paredes is the only other player on the roster to have seen him more than twice. Chacin’s current ERA for 2014 is 4.91, but that’s bound to change- Chacin has never recorded a season ERA higher than 3.62 after pitching at least 70 innings.