Kansas City Royals: Sixth Postseason Picture Update

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 10: Brandon Moss /
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Narrowing the Deficit

This collection of teams did the best job taking advantage of what one of its own—the Kansas City Royals—were able to do this week. Flip Saturday and Sunday’s results in Kansas City, no team is closer than three games behind Minnesota.

The Royals, though, put themselves and the Rangers within 2.5 games and helped the Angels stay just one game back. Feel free to send us baskets of mini muffins, as a thank you, at any point.

Texas Rangers

Overall record (through Sunday): 71-71

Last week: 3-3

This week: Vs. Seattle Mariners (Mon.-Thu.); at Los Angeles Angels (Fri.-Sun.)

When Texas lost to New York on Sunday evening, there were four teams simultaneously at 71-71 in the American League. If that doesn’t illustrate the lunacy of this Wild Card race, then nothing will.

Of course, Seattle lost minutes later and Baltimore predictably fell to Cleveland on Sunday night. That left the Rangers and Royals as the lone teams sitting right at .500 in the AL.

Texas’ next 10 games will help determine the fate of several potential playoff teams. Seven games total with Seattle will likely make-or-break this season for one of the teams. There’s also a three-game set with the Angels this weekend, which will be huge for the Halos.

The Rangers have to like their close to the season with seven of their final 10 games against the Athletics, plus three games with the Astros. The last seven of which are at home (three against Houston and four against Oakland).

Kansas City Royals

Overall record (through Sunday): 71-71

Last week: 4-3

This week: Vs. Chicago White Sox (Mon.-Wed.); at Cleveland (Thu.-Sun.)

The Kansas City Royals looked dead in the water last week after consecutive losses to the Twins on Thursday and Friday. The demoralizing defeats—including a blown ninth-inning lead on Thursday—had the team 4.5 games behind Minnesota in the Wild Card hunt.

But the Royals turned it around with a pair of well-played games to split the series. Even if Kansas City doesn’t catch Minnesota, another team might be able to thanks to the Royals’ efforts this past weekend. The results certainly helped those listed on the previous slide stay within touching distance of the playoffs.

This week’s schedule looks eerily similar to last week’s in the fact that it consists of three games with what is essentially a Triple-A team masquerading as a Central Division club and a postseason position holder. Instead of Detroit and Minnesota, the boxscores will say Chicago and Cleveland.

If the Kansas City Royals don’t perform better in Cleveland than they did their previous trip, it won’t matter what they are able to do in Chicago. As many fans probably remember when they awaken at night in a cold sweat, Kansas City put up exactly zero runs in a three-game series with Cleveland in late August.

Here’s hoping that history doesn’t repeat itself.

Los Angeles Angels

Overall record (through Sunday): 73-70

Last week: 3-3

This week: Off Monday; vs. Houston Astros (Tue.-Thu.); vs. Texas Rangers (Fri.-Sun.)

The Angels failed to take full advantage of the Twins’ uneven week. Los Angeles picked up a half-game on the team just north of it in the standings but could have easily caught or passed Minnesota.

The week started well enough with a pair of high-scoring wins over Oakland, but three consecutive losses—one to the Athletics and two to the Mariners—cost Los Angeles. The Angels salvaged a win against Seattle on Sunday, but it still felt like a disappointing week.

Depending on how you look at it, the schedule either gets easier or harder for the Angels over the coming days. After nine straight road games to begin September, Los Angeles will play nine in a row at home. However, the teams they will face are much tougher.

The road trip consisted of trips to Texas, Oakland and Seattle. While the homestand involves visits from Houston, Texas and Cleveland. It could very well be a season-defining homestand for the Angels.