MLB on Sling TV: Royals at Tigers on ESPN; All the Action on FOX Sports Regional Networks

Aug 15, 2016 by Scott Ross

(all times Eastern, starters subject to change)

Kansas City Royals (Kennedy 6-9, 3.91) at Detroit Tigers (Norris 1-0, 4.00)
7pm ET on ESPN

When historians look back on the 2015 World Series champion Kansas City Royals, the unanimous assessment is sure to be, “Really? These guys?” As with every unconventional champion, there was talk that they’d cracked the code, found a new way to win, their secret ingredients being guys who put the ball in play, and three studs in the pen. The reality is they got insanely lucky. The Royals weren’t bad, but they were far from world class, putting up just the 6th-best run differential, and that required career years from Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, and Mike Moustakas, one of the greatest bullpen performances of all-time and a couple of well-timed rentals in Ben Zobrist and Johnny Cueto. This year? Not so much, as they’re now 20th in run differential (-.4), thanks to the lowest scoring offense in the AL (3.9 rpg), and at 57-60, find themselves 11 games back the Indians in the AL Central, and 7 ½ off the pace in the Wild Card hunt. Ian Kennedy was brought in to help fill the void left by departed free agents Cueto and Jeremy Guthrie, and though he’s been great in his last 3 starts (19 ⅓ IP, 13 H, 2 R, 6 BB, 17 SO), his strikeout are down, his walks are up, he leads the AL in home runs, and is surviving mainly thanks to a .257 BABIP that is 39 pint below his career norm.

The Tigers, meanwhile, have very quietly retooled into a decent team with a shot at the playoffs, thanks to the development of RoY candidate Michael Fulmer (10-3, league-leading ERA+ of 185), and a great bounce-back year from Justin Verlander (12-6, 3.42 ERA, 3.95 SO/BB). Unfortunately, Anibel Sanchez (6-12, 6.31 ERA) is suffering the worst season of his ip-and-down career, and Mike Pelfrey and Jordan Zimmerman have both been hurt, meaning that Daniel Norris gets his fifth start of 2016. Norris recently came of a month-long stint on the DL after pulling up lame with a strained oblique. In his one start since coming back, he went 5 innings against the Mariners, scattering 7 hits and 2 walks to limit the M’s to just 1 run.

Watch the Kansas City Royals vs. the Detroit Tigers at 7pm ET on ESPN by subscribing to the Sling Orange.

Here’s the action from the FOX Sports regional networks across the land:

Boston Red Sox (Pomeranz 8-9, 3.03) at Cleveland Indians (Tomlin 11-5, 4.18)
7:05pm ET on SportsTime Ohio

Toronto Blue Jays (Dickey 8-12, 4.61) at New York Yankees (Green 1-2, 4.94)
7:05pm ET on YES

Kansas City Royals (Kennedy 6-9, 3.91) at Detroit Tigers (Norris 1-0, 4.00)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Detroit & FOX Sports Kansas City

Miami Marlins (Phelps 5-6, 2.40) at Cincinnati Reds (Finnegan 7-8, 4.45)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports Cincinnati & FOX Sports Florida

San Diego Padres (Perdomo 5-6, 6.80) at Tampa Bay Rays (Smyly 4-11, 5.04)
7:10pm ET on FOX Sports San Diego & Fox Sports Sun

Oakland Athletics (Detwiler 1-0, 2.13) at Texas Rangers (Perez 7-8, 4.22)
8:05pm ET on FOX Sports Southwest

New York Mets (Colon 10-6, 3.35) at Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray 5-11, 4.57)
9:40pm ET on FOX Sports Arizona

Seattle Mariners (Hernandez 6-4, 3.39) at Los Angeles Angels (Nolasco 4-9, 5.14)
10:05pm ET on FOX Sports West

Watch baseball on FOX and FOX Sports Regional Networks by subscribing to the Sling Blue.

All stats courtesy of ESPN and Baseball Reference

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