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Red Sox Vs. Royals Lineups: Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury Out Against Danny Duffy

The Red Sox will be playing one of their most bizzare--and, quite frankly, worst lineups of the year Tuesday night against Danny Duffy and the Royals.

An odd mixture of injury concerns for Kevin Youkilis and a focus on stacking the lineup with right-handed hitting has produced a lineup that does not promise a fun night after Kyle Davies and the Royals bullpen managed to shut down the Red Sox' best for fourteen innings.

Of course, given the improbability of that particular event, maybe some weirdness is exactly what the Sox need. To be sure, they'll get just that with this bunch:

Boston Red Sox (62-38)

  1. Darnell McDonald, CF
  2. Marco Scutaro, SS
  3. Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
  4. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
  5. David Ortiz, DH
  6. Carl Crawford, LF
  7. Jason Varitek, C
  8. Josh Reddick, LF
  9. Yamaico Navarro, 3B

It's really a sight to look at. Two of the worst hitters in the lineup are batting 1-2 while Josh Reddick is batting eighth, after even Jason Varitek. All that's missing is the famous Joe Maddon two third basemen approach so that Andrew Miller can take some hacks in place of David Ortiz.

The biggest difference between Tuesday's Royals lineup and the one from Monday is the inclusion of highly-touted prospect Mike Moustakas at third base. He's had a lot of trouble adjusting to the majors so far, though, and isn't terribly frightening in the six-hole.

Kansas City Royals (43-59)

  1. Alex Gordon, LF
  2. Melky Cabrera, CF
  3. Billy Butler, DH
  4. Eric Hosmer, 1B
  5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
  6. Mike Moustakas, 3B
  7. Mike Aviles, 2B
  8. Matt Treanor, C
  9. Alcides Escobar, SS
Pitching Matchup: Andrew Miller (4-1, 4.65 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (2-4, 4.58 ERA)

The numbers look similar, but these two pitchers are men headed in opposite directions. For Andrew Miller, it's just been downhill since his encouraging return to the majors. While he did manage to keep runs off the board in his last start, he's been pretty terrible of late, completely losing control over his pitches, and losing all credit with opposing batters. As a result, they're not swinging at any of his breaking pitches, taking the walks when he gives them up, and taking their hacks when he's fallen well behind in the count. He tightened up some in the last few innings of his last outing, but on the whole, he's just been ugly, ugly, ugly.

Danny Duffy is, on the other hand, on the way up. He's struck out six men in each of his last three starts, walking just four total in the process. He was troubled by the long ball in his first start of July, but since then has generally been successful. He's tough against lefties, too, which isn't particularly helpful for the Red Sox since Dustin Pedroia is the only impressive right-handed hitter of the bunch. On a normal night the Sox may be able to rely on the potency of their offense to overcome the potential pitching mismatch, but this ragtag bunch could have some more trouble.