I don’t normally post on back to back days, so I figured I would try something different today.  We don’t usually do a game or series preview here at Royals Authority, although I try to do a series preview on the podcast if you listen to that (and you should, its awesome, take my word for it).  But I figured I would try to do a game preview with hopefully some enlightening information.  If it works, and you enjoy it maybe it is something I will expand.

Tuesday, July 20th – Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals

Game Time: 7:10

TV: Fox Sports Kansas City
Radio: 610 AM or any other Royals Radio Affiliate

Stadium Giveaway: Hot Dog Derby T-Shirt

Game Time Weather: 90° with 30% chance of precipitation and isolated thunderstorms

Pitching Matchup

Anthony Lerew – Lerew is a right hander drafted by the Atlanta Braves out of high school in the 11th round of the 2001 draft.  In his 5 starts this year for the Royals he has a 7.56 ERA, however he has an xFIP of only 4.99, so hopefully his real ERA can drop closer to his xFIP tonight. Lerew throws a fastball (90mph) a slider (71mph) and a changeup (81mph).  He has a low BB/9 of only 2.5 and a decently high SO/9 rate of 5.8, which is probably why his xFIP is so low.  However, he really needs to keep the ball in the park in order to be successful.

Jesse Litsch – Litsch is a right hander currently sporting a 6.54 ERA in his 6 starts this season.  He was drafted out of South Florida Community College in the 24th round of the 2004 draft.  His first couple of seasons in 2007 and 2008, he pitched pretty well for the Blue Jays putting up a 3.81 and 3.58 ERA respectively.  However after the 2008 season he got Tommy John surgery and hasn’t gotten back to his old form.  His forte is having good command and not issuing many free passes.  His 2.8 BB/9 ratio would be better than every royals starter other than Greinke and Lerew.  As is typical with a good command, low walk guy, he also doesn’t strike many guys out.  His SO/9 rate of 3.4 is worse than every Royals pitcher except Blake Wood.  His primary pitch has usually been his cut fastball, however according to Fangraphs he has only been throwing it around 20% of the time ratcher than the 40% he was throwing it before his surgery.  He throws a two seam with good movement and four seam fastball.  His fastball sits around 89mph and his changeup is around 81.  He also throws a slider and curveball.

The Teams

Team Wins Losses GB/GA wOBA Starters ERA Relief ERA
Royals 40 52 -11 .325 5.11 4.10
Blue Jays 47 46 -12 .329 4.34 3.93

Batters

The Blue Jays have been led at the plate by outfielder Jose Bautista who currently sports a line of  .236/.356/.537 with a league leading 25 home runs.  Vernon Wells has also been a solid starter for them after having a pretty rough 2009 season.  His line is .267/.317/.519 and he is currently 4th in the league in doubles.  Just last week the Blue Jays swung a trade for shortstop Yunel Escobar from the Atlanta Braves.  Since joining the Blue Jays he has gone 8 for 17 with two home runs including one last night against the Royals.

Miscellaneous

The Royals have played the Blue Jays 342 times and have an all-time record of 169-173 in those games.  They are 91-78 at home vs the Blue Jays

The Royals are 2-2 this season vs the Blue Jays.

Three former Royals are on the Blue Jays: Shawn Camp, Jose Bautista and John Buck.

Mitch Maier is the proud father of a baby girl.  Avalynne Maier was born last night.

Lineups

Royals:

Podsednik – LF
Kendall – C
Dejesus – CF
Butler – 1B
Guillen – DH
Callaspo – 3B
Maier – RF
Aviles – 2B
Betancourt – SS

Team Wins Losses GB/GA wOBA Starters ERA Relief ERA
Royals 40 52 12 0.325 5.11 4.1
Blue Jays 29 63 11 0.329 4.34 3.93