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2021 Series Preview: Kansas City Royals @ Houston Astros

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The Astros (73-51, 1st in AL West) face a familiar foe as they play the Royals (55-68, 4th in AL Central) for the second time in as many weeks

MLB: Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

Quick Notes

The Royals are coming into town riding a hot streak that began the last time they faced the Astros, which was just last week in Kansas City. Since the beginning of that series they have gone 6-1, including a three game sweep of the beleaguered Cubs. Their one loss in that time, against the Astros, was bookended by two separate 3-game winning streaks, so the team has to be feeling pretty good about itself lately.

But those good feelings won’t get the Royals into the promised land of October baseball. At 16 games back in the division and 14 from the wild card, there’s simply no plausible way that this team can fight its way back in the last month of the season. This is a disappointing place to be in for a team that made several moves towards competitiveness in the offseason only to fall so very flat.

Still, if there’s one thing non-contending teams love to do it’s play spoiler. The Royals have a chance to continue playing that role against the Astros, who remain in a perilous spot in the division standings. Hopefully Houston can remind them of their record during this series instead of repeating the debacle in Missouri from last week.

Last 10 Games: 6-4 Record, 1 Series Won, 1 Series Sweep, 1 Series Swept, +8 Run Differential (50 Scored, 42 Allowed)

W/L Splits: 32-31 at home, 23-37 on the road, 28-44 against teams over .500


Offense & Pitching

While Kansas City has played well in the last week, one week doesn’t really move the number on the season as a whole. The Royals’ game mostly remains the same, a mild offense that does most of its damage with speed on the basepaths. Meanwhile, pitching has been poor-to-average for a majority of the season whether it comes from the bullpen or the rotation.

I’ll cover who’s been hot in the past week, but check out my last series preview about the Royals here if you want a closer look at the offense and pitching as a whole.

Hot Bats:

  • Andrew Benintendi (.444/.429/.704 in last 7 games) has been red hot this last week. He’s hit safely in all but one of his 6 games since the beginning of the Astros series, and has two multi-hit effort. He’s also had a bit of a power surge with 4 doubles and a home run in that time.
  • Meanwhile, Nicky Lopez (.440/.500/.600 in last 7 games) has come out of seemingly nowhere to have one of the better stretches of his young career this week. He’s had 11 hits in the last two series, including two 3-hit games. He also smacked his first homer of the season during the Astros series, but only has one other extra base hit.

Hot Hands:

The Royals’ bullpen has been on point this week, with only three relievers surrendering runs. Those all came in the series with the Astros last week as the pen was perfect against the Cubs. They’ve also gone 4 for 4 in save opportunities as well.


Pitching Matchups

All three of these starting pitchers are making their second consecutive start against the Astros.

Game 1: Daniel Lynch (LHP, 3-3, 5.12 ERA, 31 K’s) vs Zack Greinke (RHP, 11-3, 3.43 ERA, 107 K’s)

This will be Lynch’s 9th start of his MLB career and so far it’s been a so-so effort from the young lefty, except for two really good starts. One of those was against the Astros just last week where he went 7 innings and only gave up 1 run.

Game 2: Brady Singer (RHP, 3-8, 5.23 ERA, 100 K’s) vs Luis Garcia (RHP, 9-6, 3.39 ERA, 137 K’s)

Like Lynch, Singer managed to have his way against the Astros in KC last week even though his career trajectory has not been all that good. He tossed 6.2 innings of 1-run ball and managed 6 strikeouts in that one.

Game 3: Mike Minor (LHP, 8-11, 5.34 ERA, 139 K’s) vs Lance McCullers Jr. (RHP, 10-4, 3.21 ERA, 144 K’s)

Minor was pretty much the only starter to act their stats when he faced the Astros last week. They were able to get to him for three runs in 5.1 innings after he gave up 7 hits, though he was able to wriggle off the hook and take a no-decision in that one.


For Your Viewing and Listening Pleasure

Game 1: Monday, August 23rd @ 7:10 pm CDT
Listen: Royals - KCSP 610 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2
Watch: Royals - Bally Sports Kansas City / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

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Game 2: Tuesday, August 24th @ 7:10 pm CDT
Listen: Royals - KCSP 610 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010, KTRH 740 AM/99.1 FM HD-2
Watch: Royals - Bally Sports Kansas City / Astros - ATT SportsNet-SW

Game 3: Wednesday, August 25th @ 1:10 pm CDT
Listen: Royals - KCSP 610 / Astros - KBME 790 AM/94.5 FM HD-2, KLAT 1010
Watch: YouTube (LINK HERE)


Poll

Who wins this series?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Astros Sweep 3-0
    (47 votes)
  • 41%
    Astros Win 2-1
    (47 votes)
  • 5%
    Royals Win 2-1
    (6 votes)
  • 11%
    Royals Sweep 3-0
    (13 votes)
113 votes total Vote Now