With the series knotted at a game apiece, today's rubber match affords the World Champion Kansas City Royals the opportunity to close the gap in both the division and the Wild Card picture. Cleveland, Detroit, Seattle, and Houston all lost. A win would pull the Royals into a three-way tie with the Astros and Mariners, who currently sit three games behind the Orioles - who hold the last Wild Card spot - and one behind the Tigers. A win would also bring the Red Sox - who hold the other Wild Card spot - one game closer to the pack. And not to ignore the picture in the Central, a win would pull the Royals to just 5.5 games back from first-place Cleveland.
The Royals will send Yordano Ventura to the mound in the hopes that he can continue forward with his strong August. For the Red Sox, lefty Eduardo Rodriguez will get the start.
Things won't get any easier for the Royals after this series, as the rejuvenated Yankees in the midst of a youth movement are scoring runs by the dozens. While no games are must-win games for the Royals quite yet, it sure would help a lot to gain ground on the handful of teams who lost and get a half-game of separation between them and the Yankees.
These are the lineups for tonight's nationally televised tilt.
This game will be a fWAR!