KC Royals to test hot Houston pitching prospect tonight

Spencer Arrighetti draws Kansas City for his major league debut.
Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

Update: This KC Royals game preview has been updated to include the teams' lineups, which were not available at first publication.

Baltimore, the team that cruelly walked off the Royals twice last week, have called up Jackson Holliday and could debut the talented infielder MLB Pipeline considers the best prospect in baseball tonight in Boston.

Halfway across the country, another top prospect is slated to see his first big league action — the Astros, losers of an exciting extra-inning game to the Royals Tuesday night, are sending Spencer Arrighetti to the mound against Kansas City. The young righthander, a sixth-round selection in the 2021 amateur draft and now ranked by MLB Pipeline as Houston's top pitching prospect, will face KC's Seth Lugo, who'll be trying to pitch his club to its sixth straight win.

The Royals may have their work cut out for them tonight

Arrighetti should prove to be a formidable opponent for the Royals, who could move into first place in the AL Central if they win and the White Sox, from whom they just swept four games, beat the Guardians this evening in Cleveland. Although he had yet to get a decision, Arrighetti had a 2.16 ERA in two starts at Triple-A Sugar Land when he received the call to join the Astros in Kansas City.

He's 19-15 with a 4.37 ERA since breaking in professionally in 2021, and sports a 10.80 K/9 in 63 games.

Key for the Royals tonight will be patience. Arrighetti is good but can, as his career 7.56 BB/9 proves, be wild. Look for Kansas City to try getting the rookie behind in the count as often as they can. But if Arrighetti has good control, the Royals could face a long night.

Seth Lugo goes for his second win of the young season

Making his third start of the year, Lugo is 1-0 with a minuscule 0.71 ERA — he's surrendered only one run in 12.1 innings. He pitched six scoreless frames against Minnesota March 30, then yielded one run against the White Sox in 6.2 frames last Thursday to grab his first win.

Who's hot for the Royals and Houston

Kansas City's Salvador Perez is still on the tear he began after going hitless in the Royals' first two games. His 10th-inning single walked off the Astros Tuesday night and, combined with his second-inning single, he's slashing .405/.421/.595 with two homers and 10 RBI after breaking out with the first of his three three-hit games in the club's third contest of the season.

The Royals' bullpen is in lockdown mode. The relievers haven't given up a run since James McArthur and Will Smith were both charged with two a week ago in Baltimore.

Houston's Yordan Alvarez collected four hits aginst the Royals Tuesday. He's hitting .517 in his last seven games.

Who's playing for each club tonight?

Here's manager Matt Quatraro's Kansas City lineup:

And the Astros' lineup:

How can KC Royals fans watch or listen to the game?

Tonight's 6:40 p.m. CDT contest can be seen on Bally Sports Kansas City and heard on the 50-affiliate Royals Radio Network. Fans planning to stream the game should consult our guide to following the club.

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