Why the Tigers should genuinely be concerned about the Royals this time
|Salvador Perez (L) & Greg Holland (R)|
The reason why is because what the Tigers don't do well, the Royals do very well.
Two factors stand out:
The bullpens: Kansas City has the fourth-best bullpen in the AL with a 3.21 ERA. The Tigers are 12th at 4.38. This is not a fluke. The Royals, whose starting rotation is better this year, had the best bullpen in the AL last year. The gap is even greater when closer is considered. The Royals' Greg Holland has a 1.77 ERA, is striking out 13.6 hitters per nine innings and has a WHIP below one. It is a million miles away from what the Tigers have at closer with Joe Nathan struggling and Soria ailing.
Defense: The Royals have three Gold Glove winners in catcher Salvador Perez, left fielder Alex Gordon and Eric Hosmer, and they are just better defensively all around. Fielding is baseball's most constant factor.
My column. The good and the bad from the Lions' preseason opener: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140810/the-good-and-bad-of-the-detroit-lions-preseason-opener-according-to-pat-caputo
My column. Connor Cook vs. Devin Gardner equals edge for MSU over Michigan: http://www.theoaklandpress.com/sports/20140809/connor-cook-vs-devin-gardner-equals-edge-for-msu-over-michigan-pat-caputo-says