Kansas City squares off against Detroit in the Motor City today. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. ET at Comerica Park. Conditions for the game are much like Tuesday’s event. Temperature at first pitch is expected to be in the upper-forties with a 10 mph wind blowing in from right-center field. Major League Baseball Free Pick: Royals at Tigers.
The Royals have scored a total of two runs in the first two of the Comerica Park series. The Tigers (-123, 9) were shutout in Tuesday’s 1-0 loss but managed to push a half dozen across the plate in Game #1 of the series. The Tigers are capable of being more offensively productive than that of the Royals. However, in truth, neither of these two American League Central foes are going to be challenging for the division title. Nor are their pitching staffs going to be threatening to throw no-hitters this season.
Kansas City received seven strong innings from right-hander Jakob Junis and battled through the Lake Michigan elements to record their first victory of the young season.
Detroit earned its first win in the series opener but managed just three hits on Tuesday. It is the second time across their five games this season they have lost 1-0.
Royals southpaw Danny Duffy (0-1, 11.25 ERA) was good, then not so good, on Opening Day against the Chicago White Sox. Duffy was nearly untouchable in the first three innings last Thursday at “The K”. Duffy threw three scoreless innings to begin the came only to allow three home runs in a five-run fourth inning. The KC left-hander surrendered five runs and seven hits in four innings of work. The Royals ace allowed a mere 13 home runs across 147-plus innings a season ago. Duffy was 2-1 against the Tigers last season. A Detroit batting order that was a much better offensive lineup than this 2018 group. Duffy allowed 21 hits in 15 2/3 total innings spread across three starts versus Detroit in 2017.
Tigers lefty Daniel Norris (2017: 5-8, 5.31) threw a career-high 101 2/3 innings in 22 games – 18 starts – for the Tigers last season. He missed of July and August of the 2017 campaign to a groin injury. The young lefty was 1-1 with a 5.27 ERA in three starts against the Royals last season. And for being just 24-years of age the Detroit southpaw has squared off against the Royals seven times in his career. Norris owns a 1-2 mark with a 4.14 ERA in those seven career starts against Kansas City.
Both of these two teams are scuffling for offensive consistency. The weather conditions in Detroit are currently more conducive to pitching, than hitting, as long as a pitcher has the experience of knowing how to execute a cold weather grip.
The Royals 1B Lucas Duda sat out Tuesday and isn’t likely to test his injured hamstring in the cold conditions of Comerica Park today. And KC’s City right-fielder Jorge Soler is 0-for-8 this season. Soler is expected to be one of the big bats on this light hitting Royals lineup. Soler closed the 2017 campaign 0-for-20. He is now 0-for-28 dating back to last season.
Much like yesterday in Detroit the crowd will be light in audience and both teams will struggle to get warm at the plate in the sub-50 degree temps. The breeze that is blowing in from right-center field will knockdown most fly balls. And for the second straight day in the Motor City runs will be at a premium.
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