The Kansas City Royals come into town for the first time since 2011. Fun fact: the Royals are winless (0-6) at Petco Park. Petco Park is one of only two current parks in which the Royals have yet to get a victory. The Padres are trying to make sure it stays that way. Tonight’s game features the crafty southpaw Eric Stults (1-3, 5.34) and Kansas City’s flame-thrower from the Dominican Republic, Yordano Ventura (2-1, 1.50 ERA). These two have approaches that are polar opposites. It will be fun to see Ventura take the hill and see how the Padres’ hitters match-up. Ventura has been dominant in 5 starts, with 31 strikeouts and the second lowest ERA in MLB. Stults looks to shake off the road blues after getting knocked around by the Giants and Nationals. Robbie Erlin (1-4, 5.83 ERA) will get the nod in Game 2 against the 10-year veteran Jeremy Guthrie (2-2, 4.50 ERA). Andrew Cashner (2-4, 2.72 ERA) looks to get back in the “win” column after dropping 3 straight decisions. He lines up against the Royals’ top pitcher, James Shields (3-3, 3.11 ERA).
If you are expecting a lot of home runs in this series, you’ve got the wrong match-up. This series features the worst and second-to-worst teams in the home run department. San Diego is 29th with 16 HRs and KC is last at 30th with 12 HRs. But hey, you never know. Both teams have guys who can hit the long ball. Jedd Gyorko seems to be climbing out of his dark abyss and the Royals have DH Billy Butler and Mike Moustakas. Gyorko is working on a modest 4-game hitting streak. Perhaps becoming a dad has injected the life back into his bat. It will also be interesting to see how two of the catchers on the Padres’ roster, Yasmani Grandal and Rene Rivera, look to build on their strong offensive series against Arizona.
I also took some time earlier today to help our Kansas City Royals’ sister site on the Fansided Network, Kings of Kaufman, and answered some questions regarding the match-up between the Pads and Royals. You can read Mike Vamosi‘s Royals’ Preview and my thoughts by clicking here.