Kansas City Royals: Third Postseason Picture Update

KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Cheslor Cuthbert
KANSAS CITY, MO - AUGUST 20: Cheslor Cuthbert /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – AUGUST 20: Alcides Escobar
KANSAS CITY, MO – AUGUST 20: Alcides Escobar /

Making a Run at It

The only constant in this Wild Card mess is change. It keeps things interesting, but also makes things hard to follow and even harder to comprehend.

Good luck trying to figure out how Texas is still hanging around after selling its ace. Or how Seattle is refusing to go away even with its injury issues in the rotation. Or how the Kansas City Royals have played horribly in August and are just 1.5 games behind the Twins and Angels.

Don’t worry. You don’t have to try to figure out why. I’ve done the work for you. Just take a look.

Texas Rangers

Overall record (through Sunday): 61-62

Last week: 5-2

This week: At Los Angeles Angels (Mon.-Thu.); at Oakland Athletics (Fri.-Sun.)

Every week it seems a team or two charges up the standings after an impressive run. A while back it was Seattle, last week it was Minnesota and Los Angeles, and this time it’s Texas.

Thought to be dead and buried when Yu Darvish was traded in the final moments before the trade deadline, the Rangers have shown a lot of fight.

The only constant in this Wild Card mess is change.

Their recent success can be attributed to not only a strong offense, but also an easy schedule. Anything less than five wins out of seven games against the Tigers and White Sox at this point would be a disappointment. In fact, Texas should be discouraged after dropping a pair of one-run games to Chicago.

After dabbling in the cellars of the Central Division, the Rangers begin a stretch of 13 consecutive games—10 on the road—against West Division opposition on Monday. Seven of those games come against the Angels, so if the Rangers are for real, it will soon become apparent.

Seattle Mariners

Overall record (through Sunday): 63-62

Last week: 4-2

This week: At Atlanta Braves (Mon.-Wed.); off Thursday; at New York Yankees (Fri.-Sun.)

That Seattle had a winning record over the past seven days with what can only be described as a make-shift rotation is commendable. To go 4-2—winning both series—against a pair of Wild Card rivals in the Orioles and Rays is unbelievable.

I mean, this is the current Mariners starting rotation: Andrew Albers, Marco Gonzales, Erasmo Ramirez, Ariel Miranda and Yovani Gallardo. That is not the rotation of a playoff team.

If Seattle can hold things together long enough for Felix Hernandez and James Paxton to come back, this team could be dangerous heading down the stretch.

Just ask Baltimore and Tampa Bay.

Kansas City Royals

Overall record (through Sunday): 62-61

Last week: 3-3

This week: Off Monday; vs. Colorado Rockies (Tue.-Thu.); at Cleveland (Fri.-Sun.)

After a pair of sub-.500 weeks, finishing 3-3 felt like a successful week for the Kansas City Royals.

They will feel they let one get away on Tuesday in Oakland, but avoiding a sweep against Cleveland on Sunday helped put a positive spin on the week.

The Kansas City Royals still have an overall winning record, but that will be challenged with six games this week against virtual playoff locks Colorado and Cleveland. Although it won’t cut it the rest of the way, another .500 week wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

After that comes a season-defining stretch of games against Tampa Bay, Minnesota, Detroit and Minnesota again. If the Kansas City Royals are going to catch the Twins in the Wild Card chase, that would be the time to do it.