Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays vs. Royals: The fast facts preview

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Aug 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals players confrontation after relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) pitches and hits Kansas City Royals short stop Alcides Escobar (2) (not in picture) and gets ejected by home plate umpire Jim Wolf in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays beat Royals 5 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals players confrontation after relief pitcher Aaron Sanchez (41) pitches and hits Kansas City Royals short stop Alcides Escobar (2) (not in picture) and gets ejected by home plate umpire Jim Wolf in the eighth inning at Rogers Centre. Blue Jays beat Royals 5 - 2. Mandatory Credit: Peter Llewellyn-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Blue Jays and Royals had a series of heated run-ins throughout the 2015 regular season and playoffs

It’s a rematch of the 2015 American League Championship Series. The Kansas City Royals got the best of Toronto, ending it at home with a 4-3 victory that had every opportunity to be anything but.

The rivalry stretched back beyond the playoffs, though. Aaron Sanchez picked up a suspension late last season for hitting Alcides Escobar, and in doing so, stepped out from the shadows and showed fans that the quiet young fireballer had an edge.

Kansas City is currently sitting at 43-38, third in the American League Central behind the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers. They’ve struggled mightily on the road, going 16-27.

So with first pitch upcoming, here’s a quick look at what you need to know:

Big picture stats

  • 325 runs ranks the Royals 25th in baseball. They don’t attack wins in the same way Toronto does, necessarily, but that number is unexpectedly low.
  • 73 home runs ranks the Royals 27th in the MLB. Toronto sits 3rd with 123.
  • A .275 batting average is the second highest league-wide, though, so the Royals are getting it done by chipping away.
  • A 4.11 ERA puts Kansas City in the middle of the pack, ranking 13th.
  • 30 quality starts is tied with the Minnesota Twins for the second-fewest in baseball. While not the most valuable of statistics, it shows the Royals could still take some serious strides with their rotation.
  • An opponent’s batting average of .250 does put the Royals just inside the top-10, though, which has been aided by some solid defence.

Royals to watch

  • Regulars Mike Moustakas (out for year, knee) and Lorenzo Cain (15-day DL, hamstring) will not be in the lineup this week
  • Eric Hosmer enters hitting .303 with 12 home runs and 48 RBIs.
  • Kendrys Morales had belted 14 home runs with 45 RBIs, and just recently ended a streak in which he collected seven multi-hit games in eight starts.
  • Salvador Perez is hitting .281 with 12 home runs and 37 RBIs, but is just one for his last 17.
  • Alex Gordon is back and finding a swing. He was 2-for-4 with a home run yesterday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Wade Davis is still locking things down on the back end, owning a 1.23 ERA with 19 saves.

Next: On trade rumours, the deadline, and a fisherman's advice

Expected Starters

Game 1  –  Monday, 7:07 p.m. ET
Aaron Sanchez (8-1, 3.08 ERA)  vs.  Edinson Volquez (7-7, 4.80 ERA)

Game 2  –  Tuesday, 7:07 p.m. ET
R.A. Dickey (5-9, 4.21 ERA)  vs.  Chris Young (2-7, 6.24 ERA)

Game 3  –  Wednesday, 7:07 p.m. ET
Marcus Stroman (6-4, 5.08 ERA)  vs.  Ian Kennedy (6-7, 4.04 ERA)

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