The Orioles' sojourn through AL Central parks continues tonight as they come into Kansas City to face the Royals. The O's are riding some positive karma after taking three of four in Chicago, but the Royals are coming off a three-game sweep of Minnesota, which has them up above .500 - a place they never reached the entirety of last season. Sounds a little familiar, doesn't it?
Here is a great mystery. The Royals have four starting pitchers who've made at least six starts, and the lowest ERA out of these four is Bruce Chen with a 4.04. The others are all above 5. How do you compile a 15-13 record when your starters are giving up that many runs? That probably has something to do with a .341 team OBP for the batters, which is third-best in the major leagues. It probably also involves what the French might call les babipes unsustainables, with Alex Gordon (.400 BABIP), Billy Butler (.349) and Wilson Betemit (.429) leading the charge. There's also Jeff Francoeur sitting at a .350 OBP when his best in the past three seasons was .309.
Right, and then we've got the Orioles persisting in a sub-.300 team OBP, with a .295 - and that went up five points last night. I'm tired of writing about that every night. Let's skip over it tonight and cross our fingers that we don't get another suckfest.
We'll be aided in that endeavor by dint of the Royals starter being Kyle Davies, he of the 4.78 career ERA, and that's with every previous season being in the National League. Davies is coming off starts of 4 IP, 6 ER (Texas) and 3 IP, 5 ER (Cleveland). The Orioles counter with Brad Bergesen, who had a couple of good starts against KC last year. He's had about one decent start in 2011, but it was his last start, so have at it, Bergy! Their luck's gotta start turning eventually, and so does ours. Why not tonight?