Tonight brings the start of a huge home series for the Kansas City Royals, when KC takes the field at 7:10 CT for the first of three games against the Seattle Mariners. Tonight’s starter for Seattle dominated nearly every KC batter when last they met, but he’s only the second-biggest hurdle the Royals must overcome to win this series. The other guy is a little-known infielder from the Dominican Republic who just so happened to sign a $240 million contract this offseason.
Throughout his career, Robinson Cano has absolutely crushed the pitcher’s he’ll face in the majority of these three games in Kansas City. Tonight’s starter James Shields is no exception. In 81 plate appearance’s against KC’s ace, Cano has eight doubles, four HRs, 13 RBIs and a .395 batting average. Cano is also .435 against tomorrow’s slated starter, Jason Vargas.
Hisashi Iwakuma’s dominance over the Royals shouldn’t be forgotten, but no KC batter has seen him more than seven times. Cano’s success over the Royals starters in this series goes back to 2006, when younger versions of Shields and Cano started facing off constantly in the AL East.
You would think Cano’s career batting average of .317 against the Royals would make KC one of his favorite teams to face, but he actually holds a better average against 12 other teams in the MLB. I guess that just goes to show that he’s dangerous everywhere, but I’m not sure that would soften the blow if he hurts KC in this series. Vargas and Shields both made careers out of defying expectations, so hopefully they can improve their results against Seattle’s big-name bat. Now is the perfect time to keep Cano cold, as doing so would greatly increase KC’s odds of maintaining their momentum.