Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles – Game 1
How each team got here: The Kansas City Royals finished the regular season with an 89-73 record and qualified for the postseason as the 1st wild card. It’s their first postseason appearance in 29 years. In the wildcard game they defeated the Oakland A’s 9-8 in 12 innings as catcher Salvador Perez singled home the winning run in the bottom of the 12th. In the American League Division Series they swept the AL West Division champion Los Angeles Angels 3 games to 0. The Angels had the best record in the majors during the regular season and had scored the most runs. The Royals outscored the Angels 15-6 in the series. In the postseason 1st baseman Eric Hosmer has led the way with a .500 batting average and 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in. 3rd baseman Mike Moustakas has hit 2 home runs and rbi’s. As a team through 4 games in the postseason the Royals have hit 4 home runs yet during a 162 game regular season they only managed to hit 95 home runs. Starting pitcher James Shields has made 2 starts this postseason and has recorded 1 win and a no decision while allowing 6 earned runs on 11 hits in 11 innings pitched. Closer Greg Holland has recorded 2 saves so far in the postseason. The Baltimore Orioles finished the regular season with a 96-66 record and qualified for the postseason as the AL East Division champions. It’s their 2nd postseason appearance in the last 3 years. In the American League Division Series they swept the AL Central Division champion Detroit Tigers 3 games to 0. The Orioles outscored the Tigers 21-1o in the series. In the postseason designated hitter Nelson Cruz has been the leader on offense with a .500 batting average and 2 home runs and 5 runs batted in. Shortstop J.J. Hardy is batting .300 in the postseason with 1 home runs, 2 rbi’s, and 2 walks. Starting pitcher Bud Norris has a 1-0 record in 1 start. In the 1 start he didn’t allow an earned run on 2 hits in 6.1 innings pitched. Closer Zach Britton has 2 saves in 3 postseason appearances thus far. He’s pitched 2.1 innings and has allowed 1 earned run on 2 hits.
Tonight’s starting pitchers: Right-handed James Shields (1-0 with a 4.91 era in 2 starts this postseason) for the Royals and right-handed Chris Tillman (1-0 with a 3.60 era in 1 start this postseason) for the Orioles.
Regular season meetings: The Royals won 4 of 7 meetings between the 2 clubs during the regular season. 4 of the 7 games were decided by 2 runs or less.
Prediction: Kansas City just has some postseason magic working for them right now, it’s hard to explain how a team that struggled to hit home runs have been able to hit 4 in 4 postseason games played so far. Shields will do just enough on the mound to limit the Orioles and the Royals will find a way again.
Take the Royals 2.05 (Bet365)
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