The Kansas City Royals needed a big weekend in Minnesota to remain relevant in the Wild Card chase. They got it with a pair of wins. Here’s how the postseason picture looks heading into Monday’s action.
It’s still hard to comprehend how a Kansas City Royals team that has suffered losses of 12-0, 12-0 and 17-0 in the same calendar week could be right in the thick of the postseason push.
But this is 2017, and that’s what 2017 does. It takes everything you thought you knew about what makes a playoff team and turns it upside down.
There’s a reason the four American League teams that are—more or less—solidly in the playoff field are there. It’s because of their starting pitching.
Cleveland has Corey Kluber and a stable full of other arms. New York has Luis Severino, C.C. Sabathia and Sonny Gray leading a strong rotation. Houston has Dallas Keuchel and Lance McCullers, while also adding Justin Verlander. Boston has Chris Sale and Drew Pomeranz, as well as former Cy Young Award winners Rick Porcello and David Price—although they’ve struggled mightily this season.
The teams left battling for the final playoff spot struggle in that department. Whatever team gets the most out of its starters the rest of the season will likely head to Yankee Stadium for the Wild Card Game.