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Indians vs. Royals Game Thread (Monday): Zach McAllister starts tonight

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It's the first game of the year between two teams expected to be in close competition with one another all season long.

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals

Monday, April 21, 2014 (7:05 ET)

TV: STO (CLE), FSKC (KC)

Radio: WTAM (CLE), KCSP (KC)

Series Preview

Today's Lineups

KANSAS CITY ROYALS CLEVELAND INDIANS
Norichika Aoki - RF Michael Bourn - CF
Omar Infante - 2B Nick Swisher - 1B
Eric Hosmer - 1B Jason Kipnis - 2B
Billy Butler - DH Lonnie Chisenhall - 3B
Alex Gordon - LF Michael Brantley - LF
Salvador Perez - C Asdrubal Cabrera - SS
Mike Moustakas - 3B Jason Giambi - DH
Alcides Escobar - SS David Murphy - RF
Jarrod Dyson - CF Yan Gomes - C
Jeremy Guthrie - RHP Zach McAllister - RHP

These two teams are both expected to compete for a playoff spot this year, and were picked by most to finish within 2 or 3 games of one another. With the Indians off to a slower start and hosting these games, the pressure is one them to get the best of this series. McAllister has been the Tribe's best starter so far this season, so let's hope he keeps it up.

Carlos Santana is getting the night off. Given the slump he's in, it's hard to argue with that decision by Francona. It's interesting to see Chisenhall moved all the way up to the cleanup spot. Three years ago many Indians fans wouldn't have been surprised to hear that Lonnie was batting fourth, but I bet three weeks ago, few fans would have believed it.

In case you missed it (right there in the starting lineup), Jason Giambi has been activated. Don't be surprised to see him called upon as a pinch hitter if it's a close game in the late innings.

Edited, due to me being an idiot.

Today's other AL Central games:

White Sox (John Danks) @ Tigers (Anibal Sanchez), 7:08 ET

Today's Indians minor-league affiliate games:

AAA: Columbus Clippers vs. Toledo Mud Hens, 6:35 ET

AA: Akron RubberDucks (Cody Anderson @ Trenton, 7:05 ET

A+: Carolina Mudcats doubleheader vs. Frederick, 5:00 ET, 8:00 ET

A-: Lake County Captains (Dace Kime) @ Lansing, 7:05 ET