Game Preview: Astros vs. Royals
By Joe Espy

Standings and The Pitching Match Up

Heading into Friday night’s game at Kauffman Stadium between the Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals, both teams are chasing their division leaders as they fight for wild card spots. Set to take the mound for Houston is the reigning AL Cy-Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel who so far has put up disappointing numbers including a 3–9 record and a 5.32 ERA. On the other side Royals pitcher Edinson Volquez comes into the contest with a 7–6 record and a 4.12 ERA.

Seasons Performances So Far

In a rematch from last year’s highly competitive five game ALDS series, it is clear these two teams won’t be so friendly when they meet Friday night. After overachieving last year, Houston has come back down to earth this year with all their young talent. They currently sit at a mediocre 37–36 but have won four of their last five. 
The defending World Series champions have also disappointed so far this year. The Royals find themselves at 38–33 just outside of a wild card sitting just half a game behind the Blue Jays for the second wild card spot.

Keys For Success

For the Royals to find success in this game they must continue to get great production from their young players like Cheslor Cuthbert and Brett Eibner. Another key for Kansas City is for them to execute their small ball play style of stealing bases and advancing runners. On the other hand, Houston will need Keuchel to regain his Cy-Young form and for their big three of Jose Altuve, George Springer, and Carlos Correa to continue to stay hot.

Just like last year’s playoff classic, this year’s series opener likely will not disappoint. Both teams know each other and play similar styles which will likely set up yet another thriller between these teams.

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