Coming off a surprisingly difficult series against a division foe in the Orioles, the Yankees look to regain their winning ways against the struggling Royal. This season the Royals have had a tough time at their home ballpark not winning a single home game so far this season.
Tonight, the Yankees have first time starter, David Phelps (0-0, 3.57 ERA) taking the mound. Phelps has been successful in the pen early this season and is taking the rotation spot of Funky Freddy Garcia. He will match up against another young arm in Danny Duffy (1-2, 3.63 ERA) who the Yankees rocked last season in one outing with eight runs in 2.3 innings thanks to three run shot by Robinson Cano.
Hopefully, for the Yankees, Cano can reproduce that success against Duffy and get out of his early season slump that has seen his production drop dramatically. Cano’s struggles have impacted the lineup significantly so when his success comes, and it will, the Yankees bats will take off.
Following Phelps in the Yankees rotation will be CC Sabathia (3-0, 4.58 ERA), Hiroki Kuroda (2-3, 3.69 ERA) and Phil Hughes (1-4, 7.48 ERA). I fully expect Sabathia and Kuroda to make quality starts in Kansas City, but the big question remains with Hughes. If he can find a way to get his confidence early, it could set the tone for a nice stretch.
The line up that the Royals will trot out is young and talented led by Billy Butler, Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer. Butler leads the team with 16 RBI and is tied with Hosmer for the team lead in homeruns with five. However, the two have struggled at home as Butler is 0 for his last 14 in his last four games and Hosmer is hitting just 1.85 in his last seven games at Kauffman Park.
For the Yankees, they will be facing Bruce Chen (0-3, 4.23 ERA), Felipe Paulino (no appearance this season-coming off the DL) and Luke Hochevar (2-2, 7.36 ERA) in the three games over the weekend.
The Yankees should be able to take advantage of the Royals rough start at home and on the season in general and get back to their winning ways. I fully expect the Yanks to outhit and outpitch the Royals hence I am predicting a nice four game sweep and a great weekend for Yankee fans everywhere.