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Game 39: Tigers (16-22) at Royals (16-21)

Nate Robertson (1-4, 6.64) vs. Zack Greinke (4-1, 1.80)

Two teams will enter, one team will leave. Last place in the AL Central, that is. The Kansas City Royals are currently a 1/2-game ahead of the Tigers for fourth place, having lost six of their last 10 games. Of course, Detroit has lost seven of its last 10, so we're not talking about two teams gathering momentum here.

This would be an excellent opportunity for the Tigers to exact some revenge for getting swept by the Royals in the opening series of the season. To wreak vengeance, however, they'll have to go through KC's best starting pitcher. Zack Greinke leads the Royals in ERA, strikeouts, and shares the team lead in wins with Brian Bannister. Against the Tigers in his first start of the year, he was brilliant, allowing just one run and six hits over seven innings.

As I said on Sunday, when Nate Robertson was originally scheduled to start, the Tigers will probably have to score at least five runs tonight, because we know ol' Nate is likely to give up four. He's allowed four runs or more in each of his seven starts this season. But maybe getting to pitch in front of family and friends in Kauffman Stadium will provide a little more inspiration against a Royals lineup that hits Robertson quite well. Here's hoping.

Royals Review has your SB Nation opposing view for this three-game series.

Short Hops:

  • Our buddy Sam Mellinger interviewed the Freep's Jon Paul Morosi at Ball Star today. I wonder if Sam thought about me at all during the chat? Do you think he likes me better? I thought about Sam the whole time I exchanged e-mails with Joe Posnanski. At least that's what I told him.
  • Sam also wrote a post about Five Guys, which I enjoyed because I finally got to try one of their burgers a few weeks ago in Charleston. They need to open a franchise in Michigan ASAP.
  • As expected, the Tigers couldn't find a trade partner for Jacque Jones, and filed for his unconditional release today. Jones will become a free agent on Thursday, and has made it known that he'd like to sign with the Florida Marlins.