Houston Astros (41-16) vs. Kansas City Royals (24-31), June 5, 2017, 7:15 p.m. CT
RHP Mike Fiers (2-2, 4.96 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) vs. RHP Ian Kennedy (0-5, 5.12 ERA, 1.23 WHIP)
What more could you Ask of the Astros? They lead the American League in batting average (.276), on-base percentage (.346), slugging (.470), OPS (.815), runs per game (5.5), ERA (3.43), WHIP (1.19), and K per 9 (10.1). The Astros are the best team in baseball right now.
The best team in baseball takes its talents to Kansas City for a four-game series against the Royals. The Royals started the year as bad as the Astros in 2016 this season with a 7-16 record and finished May with a 15-14.
An improvement for sure, but not good enough for the 2015 World Series Champions. The Royals probably believed they still had a window for a championship run in 2017 but didn’t make a move to add to the roster to add to the core. Rather the Royals should have probably blown up the core and rebuild for another run.
Moving away from the bigger picture, the Royals have struggled to find the answers in the starting rotation. One of the questions has been Ian Kennedy. Kennedy has struggled during the month of May, he was 0-3 with an 11.30 ERA in four starts. He was dealing with a strained right hamstring and was placed on the DL on May 5.
Kennedy has had plenty of success against the Astros in his career. He is 4-0 with a 1.01 ERA in four career starts. He was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in two starts against Houston in 2016.
Mike Fiers has been on a rollercoaster in 2017. He was sent to the bullpen for one game before returning to the rotation to replace Joe Musgrove. Fiers has struggled by giving up a league-high 18 home runs.
But Fiers was successful in his last start against Minnesota. He gave up to two runs in the first inning, but then pitched five scoreless innings and struck out eight.
Fiers' first start of the season came against the Royals. He allowed one earned run on five hits over six innings.