Thursday, April 14, 2011

MARINERS: Kansas City Royals series preview

Kansas City Royals

7-4, second in AL Central. On a 1-game winning streak.

MLB ranks: Hitting: 5th in runs, 6th in AVG, 18th in HR.
                      Pitching: 20th in ERA, 18nd in Strikeouts, 5th LOWEST in walks.

Best hitter: 1B Billy Butler, by far. The 24 year old hit .318 in 2010 while also hitting 15 HRs and decreasing his strikeout rate by 35 (103 in 2009 to 78 in 2010). He’s not going to steal any bases, but is a great middle of the lineup hitter with decent power. And he’s not going anywhere, being locked up in Kansas City until 2015.

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Best pitcher: With 2009 Cy Young award winner Zach Greinke being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the offseason, the Royals are a bit thin when it comes to starting pitching. Their best starter is probably Bruce Chen, who had a respectable 4.17 ERA in 2010 to go along with 98 strikeouts.

However, their best pitcher overall is top 3 closer Joakim Soria, who pitched out of his mind in in 2010, only giving up 13 runs in 65.2 innings, getting 43 saves, and fanning 71 batters. When Soria is on the mound, forget about a rally.\

Mariners scheduled pitchers (in order of appearance): Doug Fister, Erik Bedard, Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda.

Royals scheduled pitchers: Bruce Chen, Luke Hochevar, Sean O’Sullivan, Jeff Francis.

Reach Nathan Parsons at