Cleat Geeks

Royally Yours: Opening Day Preview

Opening day is less than two weeks away and the Royals 2018 roster is starting to come together. Danny Duffy was named the opening day starter against the Chicago White Sox. Last season the Royals lost the opening day match-up to the Minnesota Twins 7-1. Duffy was the opening day starter last season and received a no-decision in the game. Last season Duffy had an ERA of 3.81 and a record of 9-10.

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Photo by; KMBC-TV

The Royals will face their former pitcher James Shields on opening day. Shields was a member of the Royals from 2013-2014. He was the Royals ace during the 2014 postseason run. He started two games in the World Series and lost both starts. Last season Shields had an ERA of 5.23 and a record of 5-7.

 

The infield has taken shape with the signings of Lucas Duda and Mike Moustakas. Duda should be the primary first basemen for the Royals to start the season. Whit Merrifield will make his first opening day start at second base. Alcides Escobar will likely start at shortstop but could be pressured by Adalberto Mondesi as the season progresses. Moustakas will return to play third base for the seventh year in a row. The Royals have a lot of experience in the infield but the lineup could change if younger prospects play well in the minor leagues.

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Photo by; USA Today

Alex Gordon, Jon Jay and Jorge Soler should be the Royals starters in the outfield. Jorge Bonifacio should make an impact later in the season after he serves his 80-game suspension for a positive PED test. Gordon is the only permanent starter returning to the outfield. Soler played in 35 games but was eventually overtaken by Bonifacio. Jay played in 141 games with the Chicago Cubs. The Royals outfield does not have a lot of experience working together but they should play better as the season goes on.

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Photo by; The Athletic

The Royals are 3-7 over the last 10 seasons on opening day. They have had eight different opening day starters during that period. Duffy will be the 11th Royal to start opening day in consecutive years. James Shields was the last Royal to do it from 2013-2014. The Royals have played the White Sox eight times on opening day. They have a win-loss record of 4-4. Their last opening day match-up was in 2015 when the Royals won 10-1. Opening day is an important time for the Royals to figure out the foundation of their team for the 2018 season.

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