Kansas City Royals Playoff Scenarios: Final Day Edition


Tim Beckham of the Rays did a big favor in a clutch situation Saturday night.

The Kansas City Royals regained the best record in the American League on Saturday. Right now, the Royals are 94-67, and are 27 games above .500. Toronto is now 93-68 after losing their one run lead in the bottom of the 9th in St. Petersburg. But the Royals must win or have the Jays lose if the Royals want the home field in a possible matchup later with the Jays in a fight for the AL pennant.

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The Blue Jays had problems last night started the bottom of the 9th with their closer Roberto Osuna with a 3-2 lead. Osuna gave up a leadoff double to Grady Sizemore of the Rays, then promptly got two more outs. He then walked two to load the bases, and Tim Beckham then hit a walkoff single that plated two and handed the Jays a critical regular season loss.

Osuna’s blown save illustrates the change in the momentum of the Blue Jays.  They have one more game with the Rays (every game starts at 2:10 pm central). Recently, the Jays have lost two of three with the Rays and two of four with the Orioles.  The Royals, who were cold in the month of September at 11-17, have gone on a four game willing streak and appear to have flipped the switch once again. The Jays were a consistent winner until recenty. In September they were 18-9, yet in October with one game  left have lost two of three.

The Royals are starting today with Johnny Cueto, who they hope can be their big time winner in the playoffs,  Cueto has looked sharper in his last outings. The Jays, who were hoping that they wouldn’t need a win, had originally were hoping not to use a main line pitcher Sunday.  They are going expected to start left-hander Mark Buerhle on one day’s rest.

Buerhle pitched 6.2 innings on Friday. He is just two innings shy of being the fifth pitcher in MLB history to reach 200 inning mark in 15 straight seasons, joining the ranks of Don Sutton, Warren Spahn, Cy Young, and Gaylord Perry. It will a game time decision as to whether Buerhle is up for the challenge.  If he doesn’t start, the ball would go to right-hander Drew Hutchinson.

So who will play whom in the AL Playoffs? If the Royals win or the Jays lose, the Royals will be the top seed and play the winner of the AL Wild Card Game, which will either be the Yankees or the second wild card team, which will be either the Astros or the Angels. If the Royals lose and the Jays win, the Jays will play the wild card winner.

If the Kansas City Royals falter and get the second seed, they would have their first round matchup against the winner of the AL West, which would be either Texas or Houston. Texas has clinched with a AL West title or a wild card spot. Houston still is one back of Texas and still has a shot at winning the AL West. The Angels are one back of Houston. The Angels still have a shot for a wild card.

In the National League, the Cards have home field throughout. They will play the winner of the Pirates-Cub Wild Card game. The Mets, winners of the AL East, will play the Dodgers, winners of the AL West. The Dodgers will have the home field against the Mets. All the teams today will play at 2:10 central. It could be a mad scramble.

Kings of Kauffman will give fans a heads up as where to watch the playoff games on television.  We will have channel lineups and more as we head into the post season.

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