Game 58 Preview: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals

Vincent Pugliese

Taking care of business - easy to sing about, harder to do. Have the Royals taken care of business against the league bottom-dwellers?

Sports fans will often take a peak ahead on the schedule to determine how difficult the road is ahead for their team. A tough stretch against the elite teams will be worrisome - "I'll be happy if they finish 4-5 on this roadtrip!" While a stretch against the cellar-dwellers gives reason for optimism - "there is no way they should finish worse than 7-2 on this homestand!"

But that's not quite how baseball works. Baseball has a much smaller disparity between top teams and bottom teams than other sports, and depending on pitching matchups, any team can beat any other team on any given day. That's why baseball gambling is so difficult (my best sports gambling story ever still involves a huge line on the Royals against the Jays with Runelvys Hernandez facing Roy Halladay that involved me winning at least $60 next to some really disappointed Canadian tourists in Las Vegas)

Royals fans probably took the news of the Astros moving to the American League with open arms. Hey, those lowly Astros will pad our win total by four or five! Those are gimmes!

Except the Royals haven't really taken care of business against the worst team in the league. In 2003, the Royals absolutely beat up on the historically awful Detroit Tigers. The Royals were 14-5 against the hapless Tigers, 69-74 against everyone else. The Tigers almost single-handedly kept the Royals in quasi-contention.

Here is how the Royals have fared against the worst team in the league (other than themselves):

Year


Worst AL Team


Royals Record vs. Worst


2004


Seattle (63-99)


2-5


2005


Tampa Bay (67-95)


3-5


2006


Tampa Bay (61-101)


1-5


2007


Tampa Bay (66-96)


4-3


2008


Seattle (61-101)


7-2


2009


Baltimore (64-98)


4-4


2010


Seattle (61-101)


5-4


2011


Minnesota (63-99)


8-10


2012


Minnesota (66-96)


7-11


Those last place teams combined to have a winning percentage of .395. Against the Royals, they had a winning percentage of .544. That's right, the worst teams in the league have a winning record against the Royals.

Which really shouldn't be too surprising. In one of those years (2005), the Royals were the ones with the worst record in the league. And most other years, the Royals were the second or third worst team. While we were licking our chops at facing last place teams, they were licking their chops at the prospect of facing us!

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