Atlanta has somehow never played at Kansas City during interleague play, but that ends tonight with a brief two-game series in the land of barbecue. Just like the Braves, the Royals ended a skid by winning Sunday's game and are 5-5 in their last ten games.
On the year, Kansas City sits in third place in the American League Central at 35-38, 6.5 games back of the division leading Detroit Tigers. The two teams split a two-game set in Atlanta in the middle of April, with the Braves winning 6-3 and the Royals winning 1-0.
Offensively, the Royals are near the bottom of the American League in almost every offensive category. As a team, they rank seventh in the American League in batting average (.257), 11th in on-base average (.311), dead last in slugging percentage (.369), 13th on wOBA (.298), 13th in wRC+ (85), 13th in walk rate (6.7%), 14th in strikeout rate (17.4%), and dead last in ISO (.112).
Individually, the Royals are being led by the duo of "Country Breakfast" Billy Butler and left fielder Alex Gordon. Butler has the highest wRC+ (113) among Royals players with more than 100 plate appearances. He's hitting .268/.379/.390 with a .339 wOBA and a 15% walk rate. He has five homers but a career low .122 ISO.
Gordon comes in with a triple slash of .288/.345/.413 with a .332 wOBA and 108 wRC+ to go with a .125 ISO. June hasn't been kind to Gordon though, as evidenced by his .468 OPS and a 36 wRC+.
Lorenzo Cain ranks second on the team in fWAR at 1.4 thanks to his great defense in center, but he's hitting .262/.325/.380 with a .310 wOBA and a 93 wRC+. Catcher Salvador Perez is sporting a .293/.316/.401 with a .312 wOBA and a 95 wRC+. Perez has never walked much in his career going back to the minors, and that hasn't changed this year with a minuscule 2.6% walk rate.
Eric Hosmer continues to not hit for power with just a .102 ISO while Mike Moustakas continues to not hit at all with a 56 wRC+. Jeff Francoeur has a 54 wRC+ and has been worth -0.7 wins according to Fangraphs.
The Kansas City bullpen has been solid thanks to a fantastic start to the season from closer Greg Holland. Holland has a 1.93 ERA, 1.55 FIP, and a 1.94 xFIP to go with a 40% strikeout rate and a 10% walk rate. Left-hander Tim Collins has been good as well, but has had some control problems as well with a 11% walk rate and a 25% strikeout rate.
Tuesday June 25th, 8:10 PM EDT. SportSouth
Wednesday June 26th, 8:10 PM EDT. SportSouth