In a rematch of last year's thrilling American League Division Series, the World Champion Kansas City Royals head to the Juice Box to take on the young, exciting Houston Astros. While Kansas City broke hearts in Houston with an epic comeback built upon opportunism and capitalizing upon the miscues of the upstart 'Stros last October, the Astros are back with a full season of superstar-in-the-making Carlos Correa and a hunger not unlike the Royals' in 2015 after getting close to closing someone out only to watch the chance slip away.
In the first of what the Astros hope is a palate-cleansing, home-opening series, the Astros will send Collin McHugh to the mound to hopefully improve upon his disastrous first start of the season. On a Wednesday afternoon in Yankee Stadium III (because apparently that's what it's called), the 6'2" righty threw 43 pitches. He recorded one out. The Bronx Bombers plated six runs that were charged to him, five of which were earned. He ran the count full to five of the seven batsmen he faced. Only one run charged to him happened after he handed a baserunner off to his relief. It wasn't a good start.
While McHugh tries to put the recent past behind him facing the World Champs against whom he was charged with the loss in the decisive fifth game of the ALDS, the Royals will send The Lanky Princetonian, Chris Young, to the mound. Young shouldered the burden of the loss in his first start of the season, though the circumstances were decidedly different from McHugh's. Facing the other New York team, Young pitched well but for one mistake. After issuing a lead-off walk to Yoenis Cespedes in the fourth inning, he hung a slider to
Michael Conforto Todd Neil Walker (thanks loyal2sdad) and saw it leave the yard in a hurry. With the Royals offense struggling and failing to figure out Noah Syndergaard, the two runs he allowed were all the Mets needed.
Both pitchers will try to even their record tonight. One might succeed.
These will be tonight's Houston Astros:
And these will be the Royals: