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ALDS Game One Thread: Astros at Royals

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Finally, it's time.

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Once Salvador Perez popped to third base with Alex Gordon 90 feet away from tying the game, thus ending the World Series in the bottom of the ninth in Game Seven, Royals fans craved for a second chance. It was so close. One more bobble, Madison Bumgarner's fastball a few inches lower than it was, Jeremy Guthrie pulled just a few batters earlier...it was the game of What If.

Today, the Kansas City Royals begin their march back to take the crown in Game One of the American League Divisional Series against the Houston Astros.

This is a matchup uncannily similar to last year's Royals/Angels series. It is the young, sparky upstart of the Wild Card winner versus the best team in the league. This year, though, the Royals play the kings of the American League, facing a brazen Astros squad that defied expectations so brilliantly.

Kansas City will send Yordano Ventura to the mound, the fireball-tossing right-hander whose season resembles more of a roller coaster than the 2015 opening day starter and 2014 World Series Game Six victor that he is. Still, he has stabilized his trajectory recently, and has experienced a string of excellent starts. He is complimented by this lineup:

  • SS Alcides Escobar
  • 2B Ben Zobrist
  • CF Lorenzo Cain
  • 1B Eric Hosmer
  • DH Kendrys Morales
  • 3B Mike Moustakas
  • C Salvador Perez
  • LF Alex Gordon
  • RF Alex Rios

The Royals will face off against Collin McHugh, a durable righty with a hammer curveball. Houston will defend him with this lineup:

  • 2B Jose Altuve
  • RF George Springer
  • SS Carlos Correa
  • LF Colby Rasmus
  • DH Evan Gattis
  • 3B Luis Valbuena
  • 1B Chris Carter
  • C Jason Castro
  • CF Jake Marisnick

Let the game begin.