2 old friends, good club await the KC Royals in Baltimore

Previewing Kansas City's first road series of the season.
Scott Taetsch/GettyImages
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Probable pitching matchups for the Royals-Baltimore series

Only the pitchers expected to start Wednesday afternoon's series finale — Kansas City's Cole Ragans and Baltimore's Corbin Burnes — have seen action this season. The rest will be making their 2024 debuts.

Michael Wacha is second-year KC manager Matt Quatraro's choice to begin Monday's series opener. Signed to a two-season $32 million deal in December (the second season is actually a player option), Wacha, 14-4 with a 3.22 ERA and 2.6 fWAR for San Diego last year, struck out 10 and gave up four runs in 9.1 Cactus League innings. He'll face righty Dean Kremer, whose 13 wins for Baltimore last season were second only to Kyle Gibson's 15.

Alec Marsh, named to the Royals' rotation a week before Opening Day, starts Tuesday's second game. while Cole Irvin, 1-4, 4.42 in 2023 after an offseason trade with Oakland made him an Oriole, will go for Baltimore.

Ragans, Kansas City's Pitcher of the Year in 2023, gets the Game Three start for KC after striking out nine over six innings, but taking the loss, on Opening Day. Burnes fanned 11 and surrendered only a run in winning Baltimore's Thursday opener against the Angels.

Which other players should Royals fans keep their eyes on?