Oct 7, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; A general view of the field logo at the start of the Kansas City Royals on-field workout prior to game one of the ALDS against the Houston Astros at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
The KC Royals will open their best-of-five American League Division Series (ALDS) Thursday night at Kauffman Stadium against the Houston Astros.
Kansas City captured home field advantage throughout the playoffs by going 95-67 during the regular season, which was the best record in the American League. Conversely, the Houston Astros qualified for the playoffs as the American League’s second wild card with a 86-76 season in the A.L. West. The Astros defeated the Yankees 3-0 in New York Tuesday night to earn a shot at dethroning the defending American League Champion Kansas City Royals.
In many ways, the Astros are like the KC Royals were last season: a young, up-and-coming team hoping to catch momentum in the playoffs. Like the Kansas City Royals in 2014, the 2015 Astros are the product of a patient rebuilding process. They feature numerous highly-touted prospects who now find themselves in the playoff spotlight.
The Astros managed to defeat a veteran Yankee team in New York behind a dominant start from ace Dallas Keuchel, who led American League pitchers in both wins (20) and Wins Above Replacement (7.2). Now, they will try to knock off the Kansas City Royals.
The KC Royals counter with a roster filled with playoff experience after their 2014 run to the World Series. Kansas City augmented their bullpen with greater depth than last season, and an offense with considerably more pop (139 home runs versus 95 last season). General manager Dayton Moore loaded up for a return trip to the playoffs by landing the top available starting pitcher and bat at the trading deadline by adding Johnny Cueto and Ben Zobrist.
The KC Royals are a team built to win it all.
Now, however, all the theory and speculation go out the window. Though both teams have talented rosters, here are five reasons why the Kansas City Royals will prevail in the end.