The Kansas City Royals take on another (yes, another) AL contender this weekend. You know the drill by now.
The Kansas City Royals are in the thick of it now, chaps.
(What is the feminine form of chaps? Can someone help? I’m endeavoring to reach a broad audience here.)
Six games above .500 with scarcely any time left before the trade deadline, the Kansas City Royals are in for a penny, in for a pound as the old folks might say. There is no turning back, regardless of what happens in Boston.
I have made my peace with that and would recommend you do the same.
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It’s no use arguing, and if the whole thing goes toes up by the middle of August, it won’t do anybody any good to use revisionist history (h/t Malcolm Gladwell) to explain why this was a mistake. You cannot be here—“here” being “owning the second Wild Card spot and within two games of the AL Central lead on July 28” and not put forth a good-faith attempt at winning. I’ve ridden the “sell, sell, sell” train long, and I’ve ridden it hard but even my pessimistic nature won’t allow me to hold that little belief in the Kansas City Royals.
Hook, crook or the American League’s preternatural disposition to mediocrity, the Kansas City Royals own one of five catbird seats for the playoffs. And taking two of three from Boston, in Boston, would only solidify that notion.
But you’re not here for me to tell you what you already know. You’re here for the real in-depth stuff. So kick back, relax and enjoy some Fatboy Slim.
Game One: Jason Vargas (12-4, 3.08 ERA) vs. David Price (5-3, 3.82 ERA); 6:10 p.m. (ET), Friday; FSKC
Two frontline lefty starters, currently embattled for different reasons: Vargas is without a win in his last three and has seen his ERA shoot from the low-2.00s to the low-3.00s (how tragic), while Price is embroiled in some sort of weird “How dare you criticize us for occasionally not being good!” feud with Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley. So… yeah. Karma-wise, I’ll hand this one to Dr. Vargas.
Watch If: Umm… if you can’t get jazzed for Vargas-Price on a Friday night, there’s nothing I can say to convince you.
Game Two: Trevor Cahill (4-3, 3.69 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (4-13, 4.52 ERA); 6:10 p.m. (CT), Saturday; FSKC
Cahill’s first start for the Royals will come against the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner.
It’s not quite as prestigious as it sounds.
Porcello has been largely terrible this season. By whatever set of numbers you value. There’s a pretty good chance he’s the worst AL Cy Young winner in at least 30 years. Of course, for all the good Cahill did in San Diego this season, the Braves cut him loose midway through last season because he was getting beaten up worse than a guy wandering through Central Park at midnight with $100s hanging out of his pockets.
This’ll probably be a bit of a hitter’s contest, all things being equal.
Watch If: You’re excited for Salvador Perez’s best chance to pepper multiple doubles off the Green Monster.
Game Three: Jason Hammel (4-8, 4.81 ERA) vs. Eduardo Rodriguez (4-3, 3.89 ERA); 12:35 p.m. (CT), Sunday; FSKC
Hammel’s ERA has crept back toward 5.00 (despite a FIP nearly a half-run lower) thanks to seven earned over his last 17.2 innings. Of course, his last win came more than a month ago against these same Red Sox.
Kansas City Royals Predictions Sure to be Wrong
In Game One: Gordo tries to pull the ol’ “Manny Being Manny” by disappearing in the Green Monster; accidentally emerges with toilet paper attached to his cleat.
Game Two: The normally mild-mannered Scott Alexander climbs into the right field bleachers after heckling goes too far.
Game Three: After two games of sub-par hitting, Dale Sveum is banished to an obstructed-view seat in Fenway’s lower bowl.