Justin Verlander (9-13, 4.60) vs. Brian Bannister (7-12, 5.96)
Universal order worked to correct itself the last time the Tigers and Royals met, with Detroit sweeping a three-game match-up at Kauffman Stadium by a combined score of 33-6. But the season series is still tilted 3-6, in favor of Kansas City, so the Tigers still have some evening up to do.
The last time Brian Bannister faced the Tigers, it was the beginning of a new season. Hope and anticipation were still alive in Tiger Town, with the scent of October wishes and championship dreams in the air. But Bannister helped his Royals throw a turd in that season-opening punch bowl, with a masterful seven-inning shutout performance against the lineup that mght score 1,000 runs.
As with the Tigers, a season that began so promisingly for Bannister (with Banny Logs and the like) has fallen on harsh times. That skid was punctuated by his last start, which was so disastrous that even Nate Robertson snickered. Last Sunday at Yankee Stadium, Bannister blew up like a M-80 flushed down a toilet. In just one inning (plus six batters in the second), he gave up 10 runs on 10 hits (three of them home runs), along with three walks. Parents should've been warned to restrict their children from watching such disturbing footage.
Of course, there's no chance Bannister will be that bad two starts in a row, right?
Meanwhile, Justin Verlander will see if he can beat a team not named the Orioles. Against non-Baltimore teams over his last six starts, he's 0-4.
And I'm looking forward to mooning over that new LED, hi-def scoreboard they have in Kauffman Stadium whenever the FSN Detroit crew shows it on TV. I really want to see that thing in person someday.
Royals Review has your SB Nation opposing view for this weekend's series. Maybe he'll break out those photos of Kenny Rogers attacking a cameraman again for Sunday's game. That one hasn't gotten old at all.
UPDATE (6:30 p.m.): If you haven't yet heard, the Tigers are moving Nate Robertson to the bullpen for the time being. No word on who will be replacing him in the starting rotation.