Series Preview: Kansas City Royals


After a day off to decompress from the intense opening series with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox took off for their first road trip of the regular season. The Sox will begin the trip in Kansas City for three games against the Royals and then head to Minnesota to open the new Twins stadium for three games before returning home to friendly Fenway. The Sox hope to return to business as usual and settle into a routine early in 2010.

The most intriguing aspect of the upcoming series at Kauffman Stadium is the pitching match-ups. Game one Friday night will feature the veteran of the Red Sox staff, Tim Wakefield, against the Royals 5th starter, Kyle Davies. The second game of the series should be a duel featuring the two staff aces, Josh Beckett and Zach Greinke. The series wraps up with the first start of 2010 for young Clay Buchholz against  Gil Meche, who was delayed to begin the season with neck and shoulder tightness.

Tim Wakefield has 11 starts at Kauffman Stadium in his career and has had a fair amount of success, with a record of 6-4 and an era of 3.80. Wake needs to continuously prove his worth in the starting rotation, because Dice-K is on the rehab trail and will try and snatch his rotation spot once he returns. Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz have secured their spots in the rotation and have had success at Kauffman Stadium with a 2.84 and 2.95 era respectively.

The Royals lineup is nothing compared to the Yankees, but is much improved from last season. They added turned over 2/3 of their outfield, adding speedy Scott Podsednik and powerful Rick Ankiel to the mix. Another addition for the Royals was 14-year veteran Jason Kendall behind the plate, adding some much needed experience to a relatively young roster. With depth at their infield spots and a decent rotation, the Royals are taking a step in the right direction in 2010. Don’t expect them to winning the pennant this year, but it is nice to see them improving steadily and making an effort to climb out of the AL Central basement.

This series is crucial for the Sox lineup to establish an identity and prove to the league they have offensive firepower. We will probably see more from the Sox bench, who has yet to see action, including a probable start for fan favorite Mike Lowell. For the most part however, the Sox lineup will not change much, as the team continues to build chemistry and get comfortable with their individual roles.

Friday’s game will begin at 8:10pm EST, Saturday’s at 7:10pm EST and the finale will be an afternoon affair at 2:10pm EST. Enjoy!