Rays vs Royals

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Monday night’s game will be shown on ESPN for everybody to see. The matchup will see lefties Ryan Yarbrough and Eric Skoglund face off. Skoglund has 50.2 innings of major league experience, and Yarbrough has 29.1. Skoglund has an ugly 7.46 ERA, but his 4.83 FIP is much more palatable. Skoglund is coming off one of his better MLB starts, holding the Baltimore Orioles to three runs in 6.1 innings. Skoglund has been beaten up by batters of both hands, but lefties have hit an impressive .296/.441/.462 and .398 wOBA over a very small 34 batter sample.

Ian Kennedy has been a solid performer in his major league career. Teams employ him for the quantity of innings more than quality these days. In his last start he got hit around by the Orioles for nine runs in 4.0 innings. Last August the Rays got the best of Kennedy putting up seven runs in 2.2 innings. Kennedy has had a minimal platoon split allowing a .323 wOBA to right handed bats and a .322 wOBA to left handed bats.

Jason Hammel was drafted twice by the then Tampa Bay Devil Rays. They ended up signing him after selecting him in the tenth round of the 2002 MLB draft. Between 2006 and 2008 he made 28 starts and 45 relief appearances for the Tampa Bay franchise. Hammel has been an effective major league pitcher much like Kennedy. He’s above replacement level, but below average. He allowed nine runs in 3.2 inning in his last start against the Cleveland Indians. Last May he threw seven innings against the Rays, but they were able to tag him for seven runs.

The narrative has been to give the Royals credit for building the elite bullpens that most teams are trying to put out there these days. In their heyday Greg Holland, Wade Davis, and Kelvin Herrera would end games after six innings most of the time. Herrera is the last man standing in Kansas City. Herrera will be a free agent at the end of the year, so he’s likely to be out of town by August.

This year the Royals bullpen has put up the worst results in the league with a 5.76 ERA and 5.10 FIP. Both results are the highest in the majors. Their 6.24 K/9 is the lowest and along with the Oakland Athletics are the only relief corps to put up fewer than 8.0 K/9. Combine the lack of strikeouts with a high walk total (3.91 BB/9) and you can see why they’re at the bottom.

Blaine Boyer is the only other reliever with more than 100 innings of major league experience.

Herrera has a 0.62 ERA and 2.12 FIP and picked up eight of the ten saves.

The Royals bullpen has had to pick up a lot of innings over the past weekend, but only Burch Smith has thrown twice over the last three days. Their bullpen is pretty fresh right now, but could really use a big start tonight from Skoglund.
KANSAS CITY — The Rays bounced back from Sunday’s lopsided loss by playing a clean, well-pitched game in a 2-1 win over the Royals Monday night at Kauffman Stadium.

The Rays lost 17-1 to the Orioles on Sunday, but any residual effects were seemingly flushed from the team’s collective mind, setting up Monday night’s win.View Full Game Coverage”Anytime you come off a loss like we had in Baltimore, for the guys to be locked in and no margin of error, it shows a lot,” Rays manager Kevin Cash said. “They come in prepared, quickly washed away what happened in Baltimore on Sunday and found a way to win a one-run game.”But the win did require some last-minute heroics.

With one out in the ninth, Jon Jay tripled to left off Rays closer Alex Colome. The Rays pulled their infield in, but the adjustment wasn’t needed as Colome caught Ryan Goins looking at strike three for the second out. Alex Gordon then grounded out to end the game.

At 16-22, the St. Petersburg Devil Rays march to Kansas City to do Putin’s bidding. In this three-game series, the Rays hope to lay waste to the lowly Royals, enabling them to gain ground in the American League East (no one knows how these Russkies got into the American League), a division in which they find themselves fourth, trailing the betrothed Yankees and Red Sox by a full 11 games.

If there is one thing for which Vladimir Putin will not stand, it is failure whilst representing Mother Russia. These Devil Rays no doubt feel his watchful, vengeful eye turned upon them. As the pressure mounts, things could get ugly.Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:


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