The Kansas City Royals have tied the Toronto Blue Jays for the best record in the American League. Both teams sit at 92-67 after Toronto’s second loss in a row to Baltimore and the Royals second win in a row over the Chicago White Sox. Looking at the schedule and what the Royals need to do, the signs certainly point to Toronto taking having home field advantage through the playoffs. I’m fine with that. The Royals have deeper concerns.
The Royals played without outfielders Lorenzo Cain and Alex Rios on a windy, cold night on the Southside of Chicago, and both DH Kendrys Morales (left quad tightness) and catcher Salvador Perez (swelling in right thumb) left during the game. Cain has sore right knee, and Rios a stiff back.
It was Johnny Gomes to the rescue. He drove in three runs and the Royals took care of John Danks in a 6-4 final. Danks dropped his third consecutive start and was tagged for six runs and 11 hits in five innings. The lefty is a lifetime 10-3 with a 2.87 ERA in 22 career starts against the Royals.
Here’s what the Royals are faced with in the final weekend of the season.
They have the four players I mentioned above who are banged up. They are already without closer Greg Holland and his fill-in Wade Davis did not pitch because of back tightness. All of these injuries appear to fall under the “nagging” category. It is in the best interest of Ned Yost to rest these guys and concede the top record to Toronto.
The Blue Jays finish in Tampa against the Rays who are last in the East. The Royals play the Twins where the daytime temps will barely make it to 60. Minnesota is still playing all out tied with the Angels and each one-game behind Houston for the final Wild Card spot. The Royals have tougher competition.
Even though the Royals are Blue Jays are tied, the Royals lose the tie-breaker based on head-to-head with Toronto during the season. (4-3 Blue Jays).
My advice, rest the starters Friday and Saturday, play them Sunday and get the healed up and ready to go for their first playoff game next Thursday.