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Game LXXIV Thread: The Royals of Kansas City versus the Astros of Houston

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Danny Duffy's trimmed beard faces off against Dallas Keuchel's burly one.

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

In attempting to get back on the winning side of the ledger tonight, the Royals walk into Minute Maid Park and will be tasked with the unenviable chore of staring down Dallas Keuchel, one of the toughest starting pitchers in the American League. That Keuchel has turned into a one of the game's best pitchers is particularly vexing for Royals fans watching as the Royals continually fail to develop even one average major-league starter given Keuchel's struggles up the developmental ladder.

Keuchel lives down in the zone almost never throwing in the upper third of the strike zone, throwing both a two-seam and four-seam fastball, a rock-solid change, the occasional cutter, and the pitch that has been the key to his success a lights-out slider that has evolved from the garbage slurve it started as.

Danny Duffy pitches for the Royals tonight. To qualify his season as anything less than frustrating and disappointing would be an understatement.

The players:

I believe the Royals are to fear the beard or some such nonsense.