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Game No. 100 Preview: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals

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Pitching, playoff atmosphere have dominated series thus far

Carlos Correa drove in the Astros only run on Saturday with a sacrifice fly and saved the game in the bottom of the 9th with a defensive gem
Carlos Correa drove in the Astros only run on Saturday with a sacrifice fly and saved the game in the bottom of the 9th with a defensive gem
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Astros (55-44) vs. Kansas City Royals (58-38), Jul 26, 2015 1:10 PM CDT

TV: Roots Sports SW, MLB.TV
Radio: KBME 790 AM, KLAT 1010 AM
Royals SB Nation Blog: Royals Review

Pitching Matchup

LHP Dallas Keuchel (12-4, 2.12 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) vs. RHP Yordano Ventura (4-7, 5.19 ERA, 1.35 WHIP)

Preview

The Pitchers Scott (Kazmir and Feldman) have performed brilliantly through the first two games of this short road trip to Kansas City.  Scott Kazmir made his Houston Astros debut on Friday and hurled 7 shut out innings and Scott Feldman followed with a gem last night, pitching 7.2 innings of one run baseball.  Unfortunately, the Royals bullpen and their cyborgs proved to be too much to overcome last night, so the Astros will send their ace (and arguably the best pitcher in the American League) to try to claim a series victory and run their season record versus the Royals to 5-1.

The Royals will run their embattled but talented young starter, Yordano Ventura, out to the mound in the midst of a tough season.  Since his last start, he was demoted to Triple A due to less than desirable results and then almost immediately recalled when fellow Royals starter Jason Vargas had to cut his season short to undergo Tommy John surgery.  Now, the question Ventura will answer - one way or another - will be "Does the demotion and quick return hurt his confidence, or does he respond with the kind of outing that inspires the confidence of his manager, teammates, and front office?"

Only time will tell how Ventura answers that call, but either way, the Astros will send their legitimate Cy Young candidate to the mound in Dallas Keuchel, who leads the American League in ERA and is coming off perhaps the best start of his career.  Against Texas, who Keuchel said afterwards he felt had "disrespected" both the Astros and baseball in general, he elevated his already stellar pitching ability and fanned 13 Rangers over 7 shut out innings.

The Astros and their fans will hope he continues his propensity for rising in big games by going into a playoff-like atmosphere at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City.  First pitch will be a 1:10 PM CT - don't miss this one, folks!

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