Rick Porcello (12-8, 4.18) vs. Bruce Chen (1-6, 5.24), 8:10 p.m. EST
The Tigers' latest road trip is off to a fantastic start after a three-game sweep over the weekend in Tampa Bay. Can they keep the good times rolling versus the Royals at Kauffman Stadium?
Kansas City's starting rotation is in shambles, with several pitchers skipping turns to get a rest. Bruce Chen gets the start tonight in place of Brian Bannister, who's nursing some shoulder fatigue. Chen pitched four innings in relief of Bannister last week, giving up two runs, three hits, and three walks. In two appearances against the Tigers this season (including one start), Chen has allowed eight runs (seven earned) in 6.2 innings.
There's been a lot of talk about limiting Rick Porcello's innings as the Tigers move toward the end of the season, but Kid Rick certainly isn't pitching like someone who might be tiring out. In his past two starts, he's allowed three runs in 12.2 innings, with six strikeouts and two walks. Against the Indians in his last outing, Porcello was the model of efficiency, getting through seven innings in just 81 pitches. He's 1-1 against K.C. with a 4.50 ERA in two starts this year.
It's a heavily right-handed lineup against the lefty Chen tonight. Ryan Raburn starts in centerfield and leads off, and Marcus Thames gets the nod in left field. Aubrey Huff is the only left-hander batting, probably due to his .350/.435/.700 line (with two homers and seven RBIs) versus Chen.
Royals Review has your SB Nation opposing view for this three-game series.