The Royals came off the All-Star Break staring at a 10-game homestand against sub-.500 teams and their play-off hopes firmly revived by a hot June and decent July. The thinking went that this would be a great time to rack up some extra wins and maybe claim a playoff spot to defend.
Unfortunately they stumbled to a 1-4 start off the All-Star Game and things were once again looking dire.
Then the offense woke up again and the boys in blue are riding a 4-game winning streak and have managed to just barely keep the hopes of a winning home stand alive. If the Royals lose today they’ll finish .500 on the home-stand - with a nice consolation prize that Cleveland and Minnesota have done no better.
If they win, however, they will get that coveted winning homestand - though not as much as many had hoped before it started - and will guarantee themselves to have made up some ground on both of the teams ahead of them in the division which is still their primary goal even as many continue to claim that it’s unrealistic to expect Cleveland to continue to fart around.
The bad news in all of this is the pitching match-up. I could describe it to you, but, well, just look for yourselves:
As bad as Derek Holland has been this year, Travis Wood has been worse. Of course, that’s Wood’s line overall. As a starter he’s. . . allowed 8 runs in 8.1 innings. At a time when the bullpen is as taxed as ever and they’re playing in a day game the week it’s been hot enough in the evening for the Royals to make concessions to the temperature the Royals will be counting on a starter who has not pitched more than 4.1 innings at a time in 2 years and has been gasoline all summer regardless of the number of innings he pitches.
7/23 @Royals lineup vs CWS— MLB Lineups (@mlblineups) July 23, 2017
7/23 @WhiteSox lineup at KC— MLB Lineups (@mlblineups) July 23, 2017
A. Garcia RF
This game is far from pre-decided. Derek Holland has given up 5 or more runs in each of his last 3 starts and his team has traded away 5 of their best players since last season. Also the Royals are at least as hot as the weather.