The Royals got the best of the Rockies at Kauffman Stadium last night, 4–3, in a game that impacted both the NL and AL Wild Card races.
Kansas City kept pace with the three teams ahead of them that aren’t leading their respective divisions. The Yankees, Twins and Angels all won on Tuesday; only two of the four can possibly make the playoffs. The Rockies are in a more comfortable spot, despite losing some of their lead over the Brewers, who beat the Giants in a late-night game on the West Coast. Milwaukee trails Colorado by three games in its chase to avoid a total collapse and at least get into the postseason tournament.
When Salvador Perez got hurt on August 4 against Seattle, Kansas City was 56–52 and ahead of Tampa Bay for the second Wild Card berth. Since, the Rays have faded but so have the Royals, now a game-and-a-half behind the Twins with the Angels between them.
But Perez is back and that alone has KC fans hopeful for what their club will do in the last six weeks of the regular season. Salvy doubled home a run and finished 2–for–3 in his team’s 3–2 win last night.
With Perez, the Royals have one of the most complete lineups in the American League and certainly the best among the teams vying for the AL’s final playoff spot. Their pitching is at the very least as good as their competitors’ too.
Danny Duffy did his thing to get his eighth win last night. He didn’t give up a hit until the sixth inning when Nolan Arenado went down to get a ball for his 28th home run of the season. Duffy finished with six innings, one hit and two runs on just 88 pitches.
Ian Kennedy and Jason Vargas round out KC’s three-man starting rotation that Ned Yost would use if the Royals can comeback to sneak into the playoffs. Kennedy goes tonight, looking to rebound after giving up five runs before getting lifted in the third inning of of a 10–1 loss to Cleveland last Friday night. His WHIP (1.27) and BAA (.234) are more encouraging than his ERA (5.06). The biggest reason for the discrepancy is the home run. Kennedy has served up 24 dingers in 122.2 innings.
The Rockies can hit them, too. Arenado, Charlie Blackmon and Mark Reynolds are all on a 30+ home run pace. Kennedy shouldn’t focus as much on not giving up the homer tonight as much as simply trying to keep the Rockies off the bases. Solo home runs are part of the winning formula for Kennedy tonight.
Free Pick: Kansas City (-120)