Tonight, we get the first of two regular season match-ups between Kansas City and Houston, who currently have the two best records in the AL. KC so far is 5-1 on their nine game American League West trip, but this will be the toughest series of the three.
Houston has been the biggest surprise of the first half, which has been impressive give how young of a roster they are playing with. Can our KC Royals pick up a few more wins before coming home, or will the Astros show us why they’ve been so successful?
Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Monday, 7:10 pm – Joe Blanton/RHP (2-0, 1.73) v. Lance McCullers (3-2, 2.33)
Tuesday, 7:10 pm – Danny Duffy/LHP (2-3, 5.44) v. Dallas Keuchel/LHP (9-3, 2.17)
Wednesday, 7:10 pm – Edinson Volquez/RHP (8-4, 3.18) v. Vincent Velasquez/RHP (0-0, 3.72)
Comments on Pitching Match-ups – We’ll get a chance to see a trio of young ‘stros pitchers who on paper seem to have the advantage. That’s not to say Blanton and Duffy can’t put together good outings, but this week, it’s more or less about the opposition.
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Game 1: In Seattle last week Blanton outdueled Felix Hernandez, which rated pretty high on the ‘can’t predict baseball’ scale. McCullers is above .500 with an ERA below three which shows he’s been tough when he gets to pitch.
Game 2: Duffy was one out away from qualifying for the win against the Mariners, a game which KC did end up winning. Keuchel has been one of the best pitchers in the AL this season based on his record and earned run average, he’ll be tough.
Game 3: Volquez got Kansas City off on the right foot in Oakland by shutting down what had been a red hot A’s line-up in picking up his eighth victory. Velasquez is still searching for his first victory this season, which hopefully doesn’t come yet.
Series Predictions – We’ll finally get to see the surprising leaders of the AL West who’ve garnered baseball’s attention so far this season. In addition we get to see Houston’s young stars Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and George Springer among others. Can our boys in blue take advantage of home run friendly Minute Maid Park? Hopefully Kendrys Morales recent power surge continues in Texas in addition to Salvador Perez who recorded his 500th career hit on Sunday. Another thing fans will watch is Altuve versus Omar Infante, who are neck and neck to start at second base in Cincinnati. This should be a fun series to watch, starting pitching is the difference here in my opinion. Prediction: Astros take two of three
Last season these two teams split their six game season series. Oddly enough Houston swept Kansas City at Kauffman Stadium, then the Royals swept the Astros at Minute Maid Park. Losing at home seemed to propel KC in 2014 after that series.
Houston holds an all-time record of 22-20 versus KC, the Royals are 12-9 in Houston with a record of 11-6 at MMP which opened in 2000.
FOX Sports Kansas City will broadcast all three games with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler on the call. Royals Live can be seen on FSKC prior with host Joel Goldberg from the field .
The Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in Kansas City) will have Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart describing all the action from Houston.
2015 Series Schedule/Results v. Astros
June 29 – July 1, Minute Maid Park
July 24-26, Kauffman Stadium