Wild Card Fever: Enjoy every sandwich

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals close out the home portion of their 2013 schedule needing a sweep to stay relevant.

I'm not one to tell someone how they should be a fan. You want to buy merchandise and decorate your house with Royals gear? Cool. Paint your face and scream until you pass out? Fine. Sit on your couch and watch the game on TV? Sure.

But I will tell you if you have the opportunity to get to a game this weekend and don't, you will be missing out on the best weekend of baseball in Kansas City in who knows how long. It's one final chance to soak it all in. To forget about The Trade, the upcoming offseason, what's going to happen in 2017 and all that and just watch some baseball that means something.

Every time I type something about "meaningful baseball" I've been compelled to add the disclaimer that I'm aware the odds for this team to advance past the regular season are incredibly small. I'm also aware that Cleveland and New York have cakewalks down the stretch. Whatever. For me, this weekend is about going to The K, having a beer and soaking in what will be a killer atmosphere. There's nothing better than a full stadium in September (and October) cheering on their team.

The season is almost over. There are three games left at The K before winter. I'm going to do my damnedest to get there.

Here are the current standings with the latest odds.

Team W L PCT GB %
Tampa Bay 83 69 .546 ---- 70.0
Texas 83 69 .546 ---- 67.1
Cleveland 83 70 .542 -0.5 49.0
Baltimore 81 71 .533 -2.0 9.0
Kansas City 80 72 .526 -3.0 4.0
New York 80 73 .523 -3.5 1.0

Some nice, round numbers on those post season odds. After last night and looking at the standings today, the odds make a ton of sense. While six teams are technically in the hunt, it feels like the two wild cards will come from somewhere in the top three teams.

The games:

Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians
Brett Oberholtzer vs Zach McAllister

San Francisco Giants at New York Yankees
Tim Lincecum vs CC Sabathia

Baltimore Orioles at Tampa Bay Rays
Jason Hammel vs David Price

Texas Rangers at Kansas City Royals
Martin Perez vs Ervin Santana

The Astros let us down last night and will continue to haunt us for the rest of the season. After Cleveland, they get Texas and then New York to close out the season. The Royals as we know are heading to Seattle and Chicago, which are scuffling to the finish, but those are the types of teams you'd rather play if you were trying to hold on to your lead.

The Orioles are in an enviable position in that they have three games at Tampa this weekend and they are currently two behind the leaders. Sweep the Rays and if the Royals can somehow sweep the Rangers, the entire calculus of this race changes.

And that's where we are for the Royals. Sweep and they survive. Winning two out of three just isn't good enough. They have to sweep.

Until tomorrow...

Enjoy the games.

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