Apr 17, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; Boston Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury (front) and his teammates celebrate after a 6-3 win over the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Series Preview: Royals vs. Red Sox (UPDATED)


The Kansas City Royals are in Boston for a three-game series against the Red Sox. Here are some of the details you need to know.

UPDATE (FRIDAY)

Friday’s Royals vs. Red Sox game has been postponed due to the ongoing situation in Boston.

 

 

 

October 02, 2012; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie (33), first baseman Eric Hosmer (35), center fielder Jarrod Dyson (1), and shortstop Alcides Escobar (2) celebrate after the game against the Detroit Tigers at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

PITCHING PROBABLES

Friday: James Shields (1-2, 3.43) vs. Clay Buchholz (3-0, 0.41)

Saturday: Ervin Santana (1-1, 2.45) vs. Ryan Dempster (0-1, 2.65)

Sunday: Jeremy Guthrie (2-0, 3.20) vs. Felix Doubront (1-0, 4.50)

Shields, Santana, and Guthrie have not had a lot of success in Boston throughout their careers. Shields is 2-9 with a 5.86 ERA in Boston; Santana is 2-2 with a 3.94 ERA and six homers allowed in eight starts; and Guthrie 1-4 with a 6.62 ERA and 11 home runs allowed in 10 appearances. However, all three are pitching well at the moment and the intensity of the weekend’s circumstances makes the past somewhat irrelevant.

Buchholz has been insanely good this season allowing just one run – a solo home run by Travis Hafner – and striking out 23 in 22 innings pitched. In his last outing he no-hit the Tampa Bay Rays through seven innings and struck out 11 batters.

BATTING BITS

- Boston has scored the third most runs in the American League even though they are batting just .257 as a team. What they have done is hit 14 home runs in their last 12 games and have drawn 56 walks this season.

- The Royals struck out 16 times and did not walk in the two-game series against Atlanta. They have hit five home runs all season and have a team batting average of .237 in their last five games.

- Mike Moustakas is batting .178/.245/.222 on the season and does not have an extra-base hit since April 5. He is also three for his last 24. He has been equally bad against lefties and righties in the early going, hitting .176/.263/.235 against lefties and .179/.233/.214 against righties.

MOMENTUM

On the field, Boston has won six straight and appears set to add David Ortiz to their lineup tonight. Off the field? Well, there is going to me a lot of emotion in Fenway Park on Friday night. Whether that emotion lifts their play to a higher level or causes them to press is unknown, but it is hard to imagine a team with Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia succumbing to the moment.

The Royals are in the middle of what would be a tough road trip in any circumstance even without all of the outside factors. If Kansas City can come away with one win in Boston they should consider the series a success. However and sweep would put more pressure on them to win the series in Detroit next week.

PICK TO CLICK

Boston.

For their sake.

PREDICTION

There is going to be a ton of emotion this weekend in Boston which makes it very hard to predict how everyone will be able to handle themselves. I’ll go with the Red Sox taking two of three this weekend.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz Kansas City Royals Mike Moustakas