Series Preview: Indians (68-64) v. Royals (74-59)


Just over a month ago these teams met in Kansas City with Cleveland holding down second place in the AL Central. However since then the Royals have gone from seven games back to leading the division by 1.5 games with a 24-9 tear while the Indians have gone 17-14.

Alex Gordon and the Royals will look to protect their AL Central lead against the Indians this weekend at Kauffman Stadium. Photo Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

This is another important series as KC faces a team over .500 and chasing them in the standings. In addition they’ll get plenty of national attention with Sunday Night Baseball coming to Kauffman Stadium to conclude the series.

Probably Pitching Match-ups:
Friday, 7:10 pm – Danny Salazar/RHP (4-6, 4.52) v. Jason Vargas/LHP (10-6, 3.17)
Saturday, 6:10 pm – Trevor Bauer/RHP (5-7, 4.18) v. James Shields/RHP (12-7, 3.45)
Sunday, 7:10 pm – T.J. House/LHP (2-3, 4.18) v. Danny Duffy/LHP (8-11, 2.47)

Comments on Pitching Match-ups – Kansas City will be facing a team with a winning record this weekend which has been a rarity lately. They will be going against three starting pitchers who are all under .500 records. Vargas has just one win against the Tribe this season but his record is 1-0 (two starts) while Salazar has gone 1-1 (two starts) versus the boys in blue. Both starters on Saturday have one start against these teams with Shields holding a 1-0 record, Bauer is 0-1. Duffy is 0-1 in two games started this season, House started his only game against the Royals on July 5 winning 7-3.

Series Predictions – With six games remaining on the homestand no need to panic about being just 2-2 currently. That said, the Indians are hot on KC’s trail and the Royals could stand to put some more distance between them. Prediction: Royals take two of three   

2014 Meetings:
Through 13 meetings, Kansas City holds a 7-6 advantage with six games remaining which begins this weekend. This series has been about the home teams as the Royals are 5-1 at Kauffman Stadium and the Indians are 5-2 at Progressive Field. In their last series KC won three of four and withstood Carlos Santana’s barrage of home runs by winning 2-1, 6-4, 7-5 with a 10-3 loss in the finale.

Franchise History:
Cleveland holds a 319-304 advantage all-time between these longtime foes. Kansas City looks to improve on their 164-145 record in the City of Fountains and which includes a 152-133 mark at Kauffman Stadium.

TV/Radio Coverage:
All three games can be seen on TV with Friday and Saturday on FOX Sports Kansas City with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler handing the TV broadcast. Sunday night marks the return of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball to the K with Dan Shulman and John Kruk on the call with Buster Olney reporting from the field on ESPN2. Joel Goldberg and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery will have Royals Live before and after from Rivals in right field prior to games on FSKC. On the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) will be Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews who’ll be joined by Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.

AL Central Standings (August 29):
Kansas City Royals (74-59, – GB)
Detroit Tigers (72-60, 1.5 GB)
Cleveland Indians (68-64, 5.5 GB)
Chicago White Sox (60-73, 14 GB)
Minnesota Twins (59-74, 15 GB)

2014 Series Schedule/Results v. Indians (KC 7-6)
April 21-24, Progressive Field – L 4-3, W 8-2, L 5-3, L 5-1
June 10-11, Kauffman Stadium – W 9-5, W 4-1
July 4-6, Progressive Field – W 7-1, L 7-3, L 4-1
July 24-27, Kauffman Stadium – W 2-1, W 6-4, W 7-5, L 10-3
August 29-31, Kauffman Stadium
September 22-24, Progressive Field

Game Notes:
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals