It’s Cardinals week in Kansas City, and it’s a lot more fun than it used to be, that’s for sure.
The Kansas City Royals and its fanbase watched the Cardinals dominate the Royals and dominate the post-season from about 2003 to 2014. There is no doubt the St. Louis Cardinals are one of the more well-run organizations in baseball, and have been for a long time. They seem to do things the right way, and are as good as anyone at evaluating players and bringing them up through their farm clubs.
The rivalry is better off now, as Cardinals fans aren’t able to invade Kauffman Stadium like they used to.
Both teams head into tonight’s matchup at 39-35. Both clubs to their standards now have underachieved in the first half of the season, and have struggled with consistency. Kansas City and St. Louis are right next to each other in fewest runs allowed, KC being 8th with 316 allowed, and St. Louis is 9th, allowing 317. The Cardinals have a lower team ERA, but have had struggles with starting pitching like KC.
It’s go-time for the Royals now. No more excuses, as they are getting healthy. Dreadful pitching put the Royals behind in early innings Friday and Saturday, and that has to be better to make the playoffs. All of a sudden, the trusty Edinson Volquez has become not so trusty. Ian Kennedy was great yesterday, and he’s proven he can be reliable in the rotation.
Offensively, things seem like they are getting better. Some of the recent losses to the Mets and Astros haven’t come from a lack of offense, but struggling pitching. You just aren’t going to win when you fall down 7-0 before the fans even make it to their seats. Kendrys Morales is starting to heat up, and that is a great sign considering he has been below .200 for most of the year. Morales showed off the power again yesterday, with his first multi-home run game in 2016.
Alex Gordon is back and has a few hits in two games. He was really struggling before going on the DL. The Royals need him to be a .270 hitter at his spot in the lineup. They don’t need him to produce runs like Hosmer, Cain, Morales and Salvy, but he does need to get on base. The more he gets on base, the less likely the Royals will have to start innings with the 7, 8 and 9 batters.
Another issue is the red hot Cleveland Indians. Cleveland has won 9 straight games, and their division lead is out to 5 games. They are the hottest team in baseball. This isn’t alarming by any means, but it looks like that’s the team to beat, and they are clearly the best team in the division right now.
Danny Duffy and Adam Wainwright go at it tonight at Kauffman Stadium; 7:10 p.m. first pitch on Fox Sports Kansas City. Tickets for both games at Kauffman and at Busch Stadium are available at ticketsforless.com.
Tickets For Less is an Overland Park, Kans.-based ticket seller. We are one of the biggest sellers in the country of Kansas City Royals, Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas Speedway and Sprint Center tickets. To order, call 913-685-3322 or visit our website.
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