Battle of Missouri Kicks Off as Royals Head to St. Louis

Kansas City Royals (+131) at St. Louis Cardinals (-142, 7.5 O/U )

The troubled Kansas City Royals (26-30) visit St. Louis in the midst of a long road trip, after having to settle for a split of a four-game set at Toronto, falling 12-2 on Saturday and 4-0 on Sunday. Jeremy Guthrie tossed seven innings on Sunday but Kansas City went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position. That has been a problem all season for the struggling Royals

The Cardinals (30-27) have also had some problems, having been outscored 30-15 during a 1-4 stretch, dropping three of four to San Francisco to close the week. Matt Carpenter stayed hot with two hits but the rest of the team went 2 for 28 in an 8-0 defeat Sunday.

Left-hander Danny Duffy, 1-4 with a 4.00 earned run average in 2014, will be the starting pitcher for the Kansas City Royals in their road matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals. Duffy’s fifth start was short, just four-plus innings, and he gave up five earned runs for the second straight time. There was talk of a “dead arm” issue by manager Ned Yost although Duffy merely blamed “horrible pitches.” The Royals have gone over the total in 50% of his starts.

Right-hander Shelby Miller will take the mound for the home team. The constant flow of baserunners finally caught up to Miller on Wednesday, when he allowed a career-most seven runs. Limiting walks and home runs would be a good place to start; he also must improve in his ability to hold runners on. The Cardinals, 6-5 in his starts, have gone over 46% of the time in those starts. Temperatures are expected to be around 79° F at game time tonight. Humidity will be at 76%, with the wind blowing at 9 mph.

Kansas City Royals versus Miller: 22 years old right-hander, 6’3” 195 pounds. Throws: fastball, curve, changeup,

Fly Ball, Power Pitcher : 2013 velocity, 93.7: 2014 velocity, 93.6: velocity over the last two weeks, 93.4

Runs per game (league ranking), 23 (3.91 per game) : Home Runs, 30 (20 HRs)

    Bat Ave, 11 (.255) : OB%, 22 (.308) : Slugging, 28 (.359)

      Walks, 23 (2.6 per game) : Strikeouts, 30 (5.5) : Stolen Bases, 6 (32 SBs)

      Last seven games, 22 (.649 OPS) : Last 14 games, 25 (.637 OPS) : Last 28 games, 26 (.653 OPS)

        Versus Righties, 25 (.659 OPS) : Versus lefties, 24 (.658 OPS)

          Home, 27 (.659 OPS) : Away, 24 (.659 OPS)

            1st Inning Production, 27 (.604 OPS)

              Facing a Power Pitcher, 20 (.651 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 25 (.686 OPS)

                Facing a fly ball pitcher, 24 (.668 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 26 (.624 OPS)

                  Run Production at Night, 30 (.650 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 19 (.674 OPS)

                    First five innings, 20 (.697 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 30 (.581 OPS)

                      St. Louis Cardinals versus Duffy: 24 years old left-hander, 6’3” 200 pounds. Throws: fastball, curve, changeup, slider

                      Runs per game (league ranking), 25 (3.82 per game) : Home Runs, 29 (23 HRs)

                        Bat Ave, 14 (.251) : OB%, 15 (.321) : Slugging, 27 (.362)

                          Walks, 15 (3.1 per game) : Strikeouts, 20 (7.5) : Stolen Bases, 26 (17 SBs)

                          Last seven games, 17 (.679 OPS) : Last 14 games, 11 (.725 OPS) : Last 28 games, 16 (.705 OPS)

                            Versus Righties, 15 (.701 OPS) : Versus lefties, 24 (.658 OPS)

                              Home, 9 (.736 OPS) : Away, 26 (.648 OPS)

                                1st Inning Production, 23 (.640 OPS)

                                  Facing a Power Pitcher, 26 (.622 OPS) : Facing a Finesse Pitcher, 19 (.705 OPS)

                                    Facing a fly ball pitcher, 23 (.672 OPS) : Facing a ground ball pitcher, 26 (.624 OPS)

                                      Run Production at Night, 16 (.709 OPS) : Run Production During Day, 22 (.657 OPS)

                                        First five innings, 22 (.686 OPS) : 6th to 9th Innings, 14 (.688 OPS)