KC Royals Set to Face Tough Test in Pittsburgh Pirates
By Mike Vamosi
After climbing to 20 games above .500 for the first time since 1989, our KC Royals see a tough stretch this upcoming week. Kansas City welcomes Pittsburgh to town for three games starting this evening for interleague play.
Outside of this series, KC has a make-up game at St. Louis on Thursday before welcoming Houston this weekend. The difficult task at hand starts with the Buccos before we focus on other games this week.
Probable Pitching Match-Up:
Monday, 7:10 pm – A.J. Burnett/RHP (7-3, 2.11) v. Yordano Ventura/RHP (4-6, 4.73)
Tuesday, 7:10 pm – Gerrit Cole/RHP (13-3, 2.30) v. Jason Vargas/LHP (5-2, 4.10)
Wednesday, 7:10 pm – Charlie Morton/RHP (6-3, 4.34) v. Edinson Volquez/RHP (8-5, 3.28)
Game 1: On paper, a Burnett and Ventura match-up looks great but it comes down to what Yordano are we going to see? It looks like it could be fun to watch, but again which Ventura will we see, especially since Burnett has had a great All-Star season.
Game 2: Cole is another guy who made the ASG and is having a sensational season so far and is up there in wins and ERA. Vargas is scheduled to come off the DL, which hopefully proves to provide depth to this rotation.
Game 3: Morton is, by comparison, the worst starter fans will see oppose the home team but do not sleep on him. Volquez continues to be a pillar for this staff, which will hopefully continue as he faces his former team.
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Series Prediction – Pittsburgh is right on the heels of St. Louis, who KC has seen twice this season themselves. The Pirates are coming in stumbling after getting swept at Miller Park, while the KC Royals so far are 6-1 at Kauffman Stadium versus NL teams so far this season (2-0 versus Cincinnati/Milwaukee and 2-1 vs St. Louis). It’s been since 2012 that fans have got to see All-Star Andrew McCutchen play at the K, making for a great match-up of centerfielders with he and Lorenzo Cain, just like we had last Tuesday at the ASG. Another Pirate to watch is Starling Marte, who helps carries the offensive and defensive load for their team. These teams seem like their fairly even, however, the Bucs are throwing two All-Stars which won’t hurt them this series. Prediction: Pirates take two of three
These teams really don’t have a whole lot of familiarity with one another, which what you’d expect with only 26 all-time meetings. They met at last in 2012 at PNC Park in downtown Pittsburgh where the Pirates swept KC by scores of 4-2, 5-3 and 3-2 which Burnett being the lone holdover from that series who figures in the result.
We’ll finally see some separation between these teams who are 13-13 all-time against one another. Kansas City is 6-2 in the eight games player at the K while the Pirates have held serve in games played at Three Rivers Stadium/PNC Park leading 11-7. It’s the first series in KC between these two since 2006 when both teams looked vastly different.
FOX Sports Kansas City will have all three games between these two with Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler on the call. Joel Goldberg and Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery host Royals Live before and after the games from left field.
The Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in Kansas City) has Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick winner Denny Matthews describing the action from the K with Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart along side.
All-Time Series History/Results v. Pirates (13-13) –
June 13-15, 1997/Three Rivers Stadium: L 5-3, W 8-3, W 8-1
June 24-25, 1998/Kauffman Stadium: L 10-3, W 6-1
June 11-13, 1999/Three Rivers Stadium: W 10-3, L 9-8, L 8-4
June 2-4, 2000/Three Rivers Stadium: L 9-3, W 16-3, W 7-5
June 9-11, 2000/Kauffman Stadium: W 6-5, W 2-1, L 10-6
July 12-14, 2001/PNC Park: L 2-0, L 1-0, W 7-4
June 20-22, 2006/Kauffman Stadium: W 10-6, W 6-4, W 15-7
June 26-28, 2009/PNC Park: L 5-3, L 6-2, W 3-2
June 8-10, 2012/PNC Park: L 4-2, L 5-3, L 3-2
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