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Yankees vs. Royals game preview: Can they turn things around against the best team in baseball?

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After all those years of the Yankees feeding off a terrible Royals team, this might be when New York finally gets what's coming to them. The Yankees sit at .500, riding a six-game losing streak and are one for their last nine, as the Kansas City Royals own baseball's best record. It would seem that the tables have finally turned, though the Yankees at least have the luck of running into the bottom part of their opponent's rotation.

The Yankees will face Jeremy Guthrie on Monday, who–if you can believe–isn't KC's worst starter with a 4.75 ERA and 4.76 FIP (3.42 K/9)–that distinction probably goes to Danny Duffy, their starter for Tuesday. New York will send out Nathan Eovaldi, who doesn't seem to be working out too well as the team's work-in-progress. The 25-year-old has a 4.73 ERA and 4.47 FIP, and while most of his peripherals seem to be trending in the right direction, Eovaldi has been done in by the long ball. He currently owns a 16.7% HR/FB fly ball rate, which isn't exactly Yankee Stadium's fault, as he possesses some of baseball's worst contact and swinging-strike rates.

The month of May has been cruel to Yankee pitchers, hitters, and even fielders alike. The bullpen outside of Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances has been unbearable to watch as David Carpenter, Esmil Rogers, and Justin Wilson each have ERAs north of 4.50 for the month. Though Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez have continued to hit, Brett Gardner has cooled off a considerable amount over the last week and the injury to Jacoby Ellsbury has exposed Chris Young's bat to the point where he's no longer offering much anymore. The one real standout has been Carlos Beltran, who has seemingly come back to life to hit .301/.316/.521 in the month of May and at least offer the team something to float on. Unfortunately, he's sick and won't be in the lineup just yet.

Things aren't going well for the team as a whole, and a hot Royals squad isn't exactly what they needed right now, but things can change pretty quickly in baseball and maybe if a couple things go right, this three-game series will go better for them than their series against Texas. They just need to be not-abysmal at something–on the mound, in field, or at the plate–to have a chance.


Today's Lineups


KANSAS CITY ROYALS NEW YORK YANKEES
Alcides Escobar - SS Brett Gardner - LF
Mike Moustakas - 3B Chase Headley - 3B
Lorenzo Cain - CF Alex Rodriguez - DH
Eric Hosmer - 1B Mark Teixeira - 1B
Kendrys Morales - DH Brian McCann - C
Alex Gordon - LF Garrett Jones - RF
Omar Infante - 2B Stephen Drew - 2B
Paulo Orlando - RF Didi Gregorius - SS
Drew Butera - C Slade Heathcott - CF
Jeremy Guthrie - RHP Nathan Eovaldi - RHP


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