After three days off the KC Royals begin their 2015 playoff quest to take the crown which begins against the wildcard champion Houston Astros. The ‘Stros will be the national pick given then shoveling dirt over the Yankees on Tuesday night.
The Astros and Royals open the ALDS on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Photo Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
We’re aware of what playing in the one game do or die situation game do for a team which maybe for other teams they’d be weary. The Kansas City Royals know the path what Houston is looking to take so buckle up before the first pitch occurs.
Probable Pitching Match-Ups:
Thursday, 6:30 pm – Collin McHugh/RHP (19-7, 3.89) v. Yordano Ventura/RHP (13-8, 4.08)
Friday, 2:30 pm – TBA v. Johnny Cueto/RHP (11-13, 3.45)
Sunday, 3 pm – Dallas Keuchel/LHP (20-8, 2.48) v. Edinson Volquez/RHP (13-9, 3.55)
Monday*, TBD – TBA v. TBA
Wednesday*, TBD – TBA v. TBA
* = Games four and five if necessary
Comments on Pitching Match-Ups – Ned Yost had the luxury of setting his rotation given the advantage of winning the division. A.J. Hinch will be throwing his number one at Minute Paid Park on Sunday afternoon instead of Thursday.
Game 1: McHugh made one start won on June 26 when Joe Blanton made the start in the Astros 6-1 win. Ventura made one start this season which was July 26 which was the day Dayton Moore announced the Cueto trade. The KC Royals won that start 5-1 to take the series at Kauffman Stadium/
Game 2: It’s not known who’ll start game two, could be Scott Kazmir or Lance McCullers. Cueto is making the game two instead of one which could be big based on what happens Thursday.
Game 3: Expect Kuechel to start at home where’s he’s been untouchable this season at MMP including winning 4-0 against Danny Duffy, he’s 1-1 vs the KC Royals this season. Volquez has a good career mark against the Astros but he took a no-decision at the juice box.
Game 4*: This game will depend on what’s the series is at, look for game one starter’s to reappear in this game.
Game 5*: Like game four this game will likely feature the same if this game happens.
* = Games four and five if necessary
Series Prediction – Many will cite that this is KC-LA of a year ago which will see Houston come out on top. Tuesday’s game at Yankee Stadium was all the road team with the Astros hitting two home runs and advancing to the ALDS. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer are going through their first postseason a la what the Kansas City Royals did last season. Guessing that the national media picks will make the season chip on their shoulder that much deeper. No one can figure out the Alcides Escobar leadoff devil magic but the numbers exist oddly. Veterans of last October Lorenzo Cain, Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas hopefully pick up where they left off. Unlike last year Ryan Madson, Kelvin Herrera and Wade Davis will make up the backend. Prediction: Royals in five
At Minute Maid Park the Astros won 6-1, 4-0 and 6-5 with game three seeing Herrera take the defeat and McCullers plus Keuchel winning games one/two. When these two played at Kauffman Stadium with game one going to Houston 4-0 before the KC Royals took games two and three 2-1 in 10 then winning game the finale 5-1.
Houston stakes claim to an all-time record of 26-22 this season in the six games played, the Astros are 14-10 at the K all-time. The teams are 12-12 between the Astro Dome (1-2) and Minute Maid Park (11-10).
FOX Sports Kansas City will have postgame coverage from their usual location after each home game with Joel Goldberg, Royals Hall of Famer Jeff Montgomery joined by Ryan Lefebvre and Rex Hudler. Road games will see Goldberg and Hudler live from the KCP&L while Montgomery/Lefebvre wiil be live from Houston.
Every game can be heard on the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports in KC) with Royals Hall of Famer/2007 Ford C. Frick Award winner Denny Matthews who’s joined in the booth by Lefebvre, Steve Physioc and Steve Stewart.
FOX Sports 1 and MLB Network will provide national TV coverage led by Matt Vasgersian, MLB Hall of Fame pitcher John Smoltz and A.J. Pierzynski on the call with Jon Paul Morosi on the field. On the ESPN Radio side will be David O’Brien and John Kruk.
2015 Series Schedule/Results v. Astros (HOU 4-2):
June 29 – July 1, Minute Maid Park: L 6-1, L 4-0, L 6-4
July 24-26, Kauffman Stadium: L 4-0, W 2-1 (F/10), W 5-1