The Seattle Mariners begin a key three-game series versus the Kansas City Royals Monday nd will face right-hander Ian Kennedy.

Kennedy has struggled in 2017. Check out his AVG/SLG for PAs that that end on each pitch, plus his strikeout and walk rates, comparing 2017 to the previous three seasons.

Pitch FB CUT CB CH SO % BB %
’17 .218/.539 .121/.182 .257/.314 .156/.244 20.3 10.8
’14-’16 .239/.443 249/.389 .273/.416 .230/.409 23.8 7.9

Kennedy, in theory, is similar to Ricky Nolasco. His fastball gets torched — at least to the tune of 15 home runs and five doubles — and he’s only throwing it for strikes 27.5 percent of the time.

Kennedy’s fastball is sitting 91-94 mph but he’s getting fewer swings and misses on it — down from 10 percent 2014-16 to seven percent this season.

The raw stuff across the board is still above average, but the command and overall control has taken a large step back.

More Offensive

The Royals have scored 154 runs over the last 30 days — two more than the Mariners in one more game played. They don’t walk a lot — 5.8 percent since June 2, 6.4 percent for the year — and they don’t strike out a lot — 20.2 percent since June 2, 20.2 percent for the year.

Kansas City doesn’t hit a lot of home runs, either, just 98 on the year and 39 over the past 30 days. The Royals are at their best when they put the ball in play and hit the gaps. Over the last 30 days:

2B 3B SO %
64 (3) 7 (1)  20.2 (4)

The Mariners can get offensive, too, but without Nelson Cruz in the lineup they’re going to need the Luck Police to get off Mitch Haniger’s back.

Since last Wednesday, Haniger’s BABIP is .182, but his xwOBA is .331. He’s lined out or hit a hard flyball for an out seven times in his last 30 plate appearances. His xwOBA for the season is .346.

Andrew Moore

The Mariners starter is Andrew Moore, making his second big-league start, sandwiched around a minor league outing.

Here’s why Moore was successful in his first start, a seven-inning venture versus the Detroit Tigers, courtesy Brooks Baseball:

Moore didnt use his best pitch much. It was a lineup full of right-handed batters, so he went to the slider more, which typically has been his fourth best pitch.

Jason A. Churchill

Churchill founded Prospect Insider in 2006 after getting his start at He spent several years covering prep, college and pro sports for various newspapers, including The News Tribune and Seattle PI.

Jason spent 4 1/2 years at ESPN and two years at CBS Radio prior to joining HERO Sports in July, 2016.

Find Jason's Mariners podcast, Baseball Things, right here and follow him on Twitter @ProspectInsider.