Kansas City Royals and the Quest for Home Field Advantage

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The Kansas City Royals gave back their playoff advantage for the home field on Saturday night with a loss to Cleveland 9 to 5. Both the Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays are now 89-65 on the season, but the Blue Jays hold the tiebreaker. Heading in to today’s action, there are eight games left for both teams.

This rivalry hearkens back to the 1985 playoffs when the KC Royals edged the Jays for the American League championship. The Royals then won the World Series in seven against the Cardinals for their only World Series title.

With the Jays winning again, the remaining games in the regular season have begun to matter once more. This is no time to bench all of your regulars. The Kansas City Royals need to have an edge and not just coast into the playoffs. The team with the best record gets home field throughout the American League playoffs if they meet.

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It wouldn’t be a bad idea for the Kansas City Royals to get into the post-season “frenzy” mode which served them well winning the Wild Card game and sweeping the other American League playoff series. The good thing this year is that the Royals now have the experience in playing post-season games. They also should still have fire in their gut because of losing the final game of the World Series.

If the KC Royals do get to the World Series, they would have the home field advantage, since the American league under Ned Yost  won the All Star game.

At this time, it seems likely that the Kansas City Royals would have the home field in the first full round of the playoffs (after the wild card play-in game). That first round is a best of five series.

If the KC Royals end with the best record, they would play the winner of the wild card play-in game. If Toronto has the best record in AL, the Royals would play the winner of the American League West. In the (somewhat wild, wild West), Texas is 84-70 while Houston is 81-74. Houston is 3 1/2 games back.

If Houston and Texas tie at the end of the season, they would have a one game “All Texas I-45 shoot-out” to determine the winner of the of the AL West. Texas has been 7-3 in the last 10 games, with the Astros at 6-4.

If the Kansas City Royals get to the Series, they would be interested in whom they might play from the National League. The Cardinals still have the best record at 98 and 57 in the NL and MLB. Pittsburgh still has a shot at winning the NL Central and is 3 games back of the Cards. The Cubs are going in the playoffs as a wild card team, 8 1/2 games back in the Central.

The Cubs will probably play the Pirates at Pittsburgh in a one game playoff. The winner will probably play the Cards in the best of five. Some people would love to see a Cardinals-Cubs matchup–with all the passion of the Cubs-Cards rivalry.

The remaining two teams in the National League are the winners of the NL East, the New York Mets who have 88 and 67 record. They have eliminated the Washington Nats who are 8 and 1/2 games back.

It looks like the Mets would play the best of five series against the the winner of NL West. Right now, it is likely to be the Los Angeles Dodgers who have a 7 games lead on the KC Royals least loved team in the NL, the San Francisco Giants. Right now the Mets have a 1 game lead over the Dodgers in regard to home field in the first round.

Let’s go back to the AL and look at the remaining games for Toronto and Kansas City. Both have 8 games left.

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The Kansas City Royals have one more game at home against the Indians on Sunday. Then they go on the road with four games against two teams in Chicago. The first game is Monday (which is a makeup game) against the Chicago Cubs.  The Royals will move from the north side to the side with three against the White Sox.

Their final three games may or may not be suspenseful and are on the road against the Twins. The games will only be suspenseful in the Royals are fighting the Jays for home-field. The Twins are still scuffling for a wild card postion.

Finally, who will the Jays play for the rest of the season? Their game Sunday is against the Rays. Then they go on the road for seven (just like the Kansas City Royals). They have four night games at Baltimore before they finish with three at Tampa.

So will it be a repeat of the 1985 playoffs? Stay tuned.

Next: Ryan Madson Key to the Royals Bullpen

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