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American League Division Series Preview: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals

Either one of these teams could be replaced with the Indians in an alternate universe.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Two baseball games in one day!? We are so spoiled. It has only been three days, but it feels like an eternity since we have had more than one game to look forward to on any given day.

The American League Central-winning Royals (sigh) will be taking on the Houston Astros who dispatched the New York Yankees on Tuesday night to win the in American League Wild Card game. The Royals finished with the best record in the AL, and like last year will heavily rely on their offense to get them through the playoffs.

While the Royals are in the playoffs with mostly the same team as last year, they are here with completely different circumstances. They are no longer the upstart Wild Card team that took the league by storm, they are the number one seed and everyone, especially the Astros, are gunning for them.

Do not expect a lot of low-scoring games to come out of this series, as both teams are equipped with high-powered offenses and (with the exception of Dallas Keuchel) not a lot of shutdown starting pitching. If Royals starters can at least stave off the combination of George Springer, Carlos Gomez, Jose Altuve, and Carlos Correa enough to get to their bullpen for three games they have a pretty good shot at taking the series. Otherwise, it will be up to Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, Alex Gordon, and Ben Zobrist to outgun the surprising Astros.


  • Game 1, Today 7:30 PM: McHugh (HOU) @ Ventura (KCR)
  • Game 2, Friday 3:30 PM: Kazmir (HOU) @ Cueto (KCR)
  • Game 3, Sunday 4:00 PM: Volquez (KCR) @ Keuchel (HOU)
  • Game 4, Monday TBD if needed
  • Game 5, Wednesday TBD if needed

Indians notes

  • If the Indians surged late in the season, they would be playing in the Astros place. If the Indians were awesome all season, they would be playing in place of the Royals.
  • The Indians should consider going after Zobrist this offseason. Just sayin’.