Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Yankees @ Royals


The Yankees have been lifeless lately, especially their line-up, but luckily they were able to salvage the final game of the Athletics’ series behind who other than Masahiro Tanaka. They now stand at 30-29 heading into Kansas City. With Carlos Beltran now back, this team needs to pick it up. Anything less than three out of four against the Royals will be tough to swallow the way this team has been playing.

 

                                         Probable Pitching Match-ups

       Yankees                                              @                                            Royals

   Chase Whitley              Friday, June 6th: 8:10 pm EST              Jeremy Guthrie

    David Phelps             Saturday, June 7th: 7:15 pm EST             Danny Duffy

    Hiroki Kuroda            Sunday, June 8th:  2:10 pm EST              James Shields

      Vidal Nuno                Sunday, June 8th:  8:10 pm EST              Jason Vargas

 

Who’s Hot?: Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar have been the Royals’ top two hitters over the last seven games. Escobar is hitting almost .350 with a couple of doubles, a triple, and two RBI. However, Gordon has done a bit better also hitting over .300 with three homers and seven RBI.

The Yankees hottest hitters have been Yangervis Solarte and Jacoby Ellsbury. In the same span, Solarte is on fire, hitting nearly .400 with a home run and an RBI to go with a couple doubles. Ellsbury is finally swinging the bat well again. Like Solarte, Ellsbury’s average also hovers around .400 over the last week. He also drove in four runs, three of them coming off a three-run home run.

Who’s Not?: Two of the biggest bats in the Royals’ lineup are supposed to be Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer. That has hardly been case lately. In fact, that hasn’t been the case all year. Moustakas’ nightmare of a season continues to get worse. In his past seven games, he is hitting under.150 which has now brought his average down to around .150.

Hosmer has struggled this year as well, but luckily not as much as Moustakas. However, Hosmer is still hitting under .200 his past six games and he only has one RBI to his credit to go with 11 strikeouts.                                                

                                                     *What To Watch For*

Chase Whitley, who has been great for the Yankees so far, makes the series’ first start against the Royals. He’s never faced the Royals, before but will look the get the Yankees on the right track. David Phelps. Although there is a whole lot of history between the two, there’s enough to see the Royals like facing Phelps. Pedro Ciriaco leads the way against Phelps going 4-for-9 (.444). The rest of the team (six other players) have combined to go 7-for-16 (.438) against the 27-year-old.

Hiroki Kuroda will counter James Shields in the third game of the series. Alex Gordon rakes against Kuroda. Even though it is in just eight at-bats, he has picked up six hits for a .750 average. Ciriaco, Alcides Escobar, and Jarrod Dyson don’t fare well against the righty combining for just six hits in 31 at-bats for a .194 average. Finally, the final game of the series on Monday will be started by Vidal Nuno. Just like Whitley, this will be the first time the Royals face the southpaw. The series begins tonight at 8:10 pm EST. This has been your series preview!

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