The Astros are the dominant force in the American League right now, and after the events of the last two days, it's not really debatable.— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) July 1, 2015
The Royals had the better record and a nearly equal run differential and were playing banged up on the road, but they did get their butts kicked in Houston. The best way to atone for that is to whip the Astros here in Kansas City.
Scott Kazmir makes his Astros debut tonight. The Royals have already faced him twice this year, winning both games, although he did pitch effectively. Kazmir has been a very ordinary pitcher away from Oakland this year - sporting just a 3.92 ERA. The Royals have tended to struggle against lefties this year, so its very likely Houston's trade was done in part with the Royals at least partly in mind.
Jeremy Guthrie goes for the Royals and its true, he has not been groin-grabbingly awful lately. Since the Yankee Stadium debacle, he has given up more than three earned runs in a start just once, with the Royals going 6-3 in those nine starts. Of course, his ERA over that time is still 4.13, which isn't very good and likely won't be good enough against a tough Houston lineup and a tough lefty like Kazmir. If Guthrie has anything left in the tank, he needs to show it tonight.
Line em up!
(When you see the Astros lineup today) pic.twitter.com/ZzK5B2kGtK— #CrushCity (@CrushCityAstros) July 24, 2015