Homer Bailey takes the hill tonight at 8:15 PM ET when the Kansas City Royals host the Philadelphia Phillies, who go for their third straight win.
The Phillies won two straight games against the Cardinals on the road, outscoring them 16-1 while the Royals have lost three of their last four contests.
First baseman Rhys Hoskins leads the Phillies with 11 home runs and 32 RBI but second baseman Cesar Hernandez is on a tear on the road; he had a three-hit, three-RBI game in Wednesday’s 5-0 win against the Cardinals and he’s 5-for-10 (.500) in his last three games to improve his batting average up to .305 but he’s just 1-for-6 with two strikeouts in his career against Homer Bailey.
The struggling Royals have the second-worst record in MLB at 13-25, they’re just 8-11 at home and they struck out 17 times in Wednesday’s 9-0 road loss against the Astros.
Third baseman Hunter Dozier has been one of their few bright spots for the Royals, leading the American League with a 1.088 On Base Percentage + Slugging Percentage (OPS) and a .661 Slugging Percentage (SLG). He also ranks second with .427 On Base Percentage (OBP), fifth with 80 total bases, fifth with three triples, sixth with a .331 batting average and 10th with nine home runs.
Royals Roster & Starting Lineup vs. Phillies
1. Whit Merrifield 2B
2. Adalberto Mondesi SS
3. Alex Gordon LF
4. Hunter Dozier 3B
5. Jorge Soler RF
6. Ryan O’Hearn 1B
7. Kelvin Gutierrez DH
8. Martin Maldonado C
9. Billy Hamilton CF
SP Homer Bailey
Bench: Cam Gallagher, Chris Owings, Terrance Gore
Bullpen: Wily Peralta, Jake Diekman, Ian Kennedy, Richard Lovelady, Jake Newberry, Scott Barlow, Glenn Sparkman, Brad Boxberger
Jake Arrieta (4-2, 3.40 ERA, 1.24 WHIP) has thrown at least six innings in seven of his last eight starts for the Phillies but he’s struggling in his last three appearances, going just 1-1 with a 5.29 ERA and a 1.47 WHIP.
Arrieta gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits (one home run) with seven strikeouts and one walk in six innings to get a no-decision in a 10-8 loss against the Nationals last Saturday but he’s 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP in two road starts this season and he’s been able to keep the ball in the park, surrendering just 1.0 home runs per nine innings (HR/9). Opponents have a .292 weighted on-base average (wOBA) against him.
Homer Bailey Is Pitching Much Better
Homer Bailey went 1-14 with a 6.09 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP in 20 starts with the Reds last season and they traded him to the Dodgers in December, who then cut him. The Royals gave him a chance, signing him to a minor league deal with a Spring Training invite and this will be his eighth start of the season.
Bailey allowed two earned runs on seven hits (one home run) with four strikeouts and two walks over six innings in a 15-3 win against the Tigers last Saturday but he’s just 1-2 with a 5.48 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP in four home starts.
The right-hander was dominant in his only start against the Phillies last season, giving up just one earned run on two hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in six innings to get a no-decision in a 6-1 loss on April 10, 2018.
His strikeouts per nine innings (K/9) went from 6.35 last year to 8.50 this season, he’s surrendering 1.0 home runs per nine innings (HR/9) compared to 1.95 last year and his Fielder Independent Pitching on an ERA scale (FIP) improved from 5.55 last year to 3.77 this season.