Zack Greinke returns to his old stomping grounds, as the Dodgers fly into Kauffman Stadium to take on the Royals for a three game road interleague series. As you know, Greinke pitched for the Royals from 2004-2010, winning a cy young award in 2009. During that 2009 season Greinke finished with a 16-8 record, 2.16 ERA, and 242 whiffs. His ERA+ was a ridiculous 205. With Clayton Kershaw’s domination, we often overlook just how good Greinke really is. He’s that good.
Dodgers Lineup @ Kansas CityGordon 2B Hanley DH Puig RF Gonzalez 1B Kemp LF Ethier CF Ellis C Rojas 3B Triunfel SS
Zack Greinke-9-3 vs. Jeremy Guthrie-4-6
He was incredibly good during his salad days with the Royals. Apparently he was well liked in Kansas City, and will probably receive a warm welcome. I can’t imagine why he wouldn’t. Greinke is in search of his tenth win of the season, He’s 9-3 with a 2.57 ERA in 15 starts. He won his last start and has whiffed 97 against just 20. That’s an incredible 5-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
Greinke has faced his former team just twice, and does not have a record against them. In those two starts he’s got a 1.17 ERA and has whiffed 11 and walked two. Remember he pitched for the Angels for a half season before joining the Dodgers. But at Kauffman Stadium, Greinke is dynamite. He’s 36-28 with a 3.48 ERA and a 4-1 strikeout to walk ratio.
The Royals are batting .241 (19 for 79) with three home runs against Greinke. Omar Infante is hitting a paltry .185 versus the birdman.
Kansas City will counter with veteran right hander Jeremy Guthrie. The 35-year old Oregon native has been pitching for Kansas City since 2012, but has also pitched for Baltimore, Cleveland and Colorado. This season Guthrie is 4-6 with a 3.86 ERA, and 59 whiffs in 98 innings.
Checking the books, I see Guthrie has never faced the Dodgers before. However he is 17-12 with a 3.85 ERA at Kauffman Stadium. Only three Dodgers have ever faced him before. Adrian Gonzalez, Drew Butera, and Hanley Ramirez. Gonzo has faced him quite a bit from his American League days. Gonzo is hitting .308 (4 for 13) against Guthrie.
The Royals are an interesting club. They recently had a ten game winning streak that vaulted them into first place in the AL Central. Now they’ve lost four in a row. Currently the Royals are 39-36 and sit in second place, 2.5 games behind the Tigers.
The Royals like the Dodgers play better at home, (18-19) than on the road (21-17). However the club has very little power this season. They’ve only hit 42 home runs this season, ranking them dead last in the majors. As a comparison, the Dodgers have hit 67 long balls.
The other day I discussed the Royals and the upcoming series against the Dodgers with Kings Of Kauffman writer Mike Vamosi. You can check that out here.
Since this series is in an American League Park, the Dodgers will have to use a DH. Manager Don Mattingly has said that the club will have three different players share the DH duties for the three games. The Dodgers are 5-3 against the American League so far in 2014.
Will it be a happy homecoming for Zack Greinke? Or will the Royals make the Dodgers chase waterfalls? Check in over here after the game for a complete report.
Game time – 5:10 PM