Series Preview: Royals (84-70) at Indians (81-74)


Tonight Kansas City begins their final road trip of 2014 which starts with them finishing off the August 31 game where they trail 4-2. This series at Cleveland is as big as it gets for Royals fans with the Tribe breathing down KC’s neck in the wildcard.

Tonight the Royals begin a critical series at Progressive Field versus the Indians. Photo Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Here’s all you’ll need to know before first pitch tonight (5:05 pm when the suspended game starts) between these AL Central foes.

Probably Pitching Match-ups:
Monday, 6:05 pm – Danny Duffy/LHP (8-11, 2.42) v. Carlos Carrasco/RHP (8-5, 2.65)
Tuesday, 6:05 pm – Yordano Ventura/RHP (13-10, 3.19) v. Danny Salazar/RHP (6-7, 4.02)
Wednesday, 6:05 pm – Jason Vargas/LHP (11-10, 3.59) v. Trevor Bauer/RHP (5-8, 4.06)

Comments on Pitching Match-ups – Carrasco has been solid since moving from reliever to starter, however he is 0-1 versus the boys in blue this season losing on July 25. He’ll be opposed by Duffy who it seems hasn’t pitched since August 31, is also 0-1 versus Cleveland losing on July 6. Ventura gets the ball in game two where he’ll face Salazar. Yordano is 2-0 against the Tribe while Salazar is 2-1 against KC in 2014. Finally Vargas will oppose Bauer to complete this series, Jason is 1-0 and actually won this head-to-head on June 10, that’s also the only decision his opponent has against KC this season.

Series Predictions – We all know the narrative going into this week, this is the most important week for fans in decades. I’d suggest just have fun and don’t let one game affect your mood but that’s not how the “Royalscoaster” works right? Sure Cleveland seems to have some evil magic over Kansas City plus at Progressive Field but I lean towards the Royals throwing three solid pitchers. Prediction: l think these teams split, that includes the completion of the August 31 game.

2014 Meetings:
Cleveland has taken three straight between these teams and lead the season series 8-7 currently heading into today. Last time out the Indians won 6-1 and 3-2 in 11 innings with the bottom of the tenth inning being played at 5:05 pm and KC trailing 4-2.

Franchise History:
The Tribe holds an all-time series advantage of 321-304 versus the Royals, in Cleveland is 174-140 which includes a 100-67 at Progressive Field.

TV/Radio Coverage:
FOX Sports Kansas City has all three game from the shores of Lake Erie with Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler handling the call, Joel Goldber and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery host Royals Live before and after the game.

ESPN will broadcast Wednesday’s game for those outside the viewing area which will be most of the nation (not including KC or Cleveland).

Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) will have Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews describing the action along with Ryan Lefebvre and Steve Stewart.

AL Central Standings (September 22):
Detroit Tigers (86-69, – GB)
Kansas City Royals (84-70, 1.5 GB)
Cleveland Indians (81-74, 5 GB)
Chicago White Sox (71-84, 15 GB)
Minnesota Twins (66-89, 20 GB)

AL Wildcard Standings (September 22):
Oakland Athletics (85-70, +.5 GMS)
Royals (84-70, – GB)
Seattle Mariners (83-72, 1.5 GB)
Indians (81-74, 3.5 GB)
New York Yankees (85-75, 4.5 GB)
Toronto Blue Jays (78-77, 6.5 GB)

2014 Series Schedule/Results v. Indians (CLE 8-7)
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 – L 6-1, L 3-2 (11 innings), Completion of August 31 (Bottom 10 CLE 4-2) on September 22
September 22-24, Progressive Field

Game Notes:
Cleveland Indians
Kansas City Royals