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Game XLIV: Royals v. Rangers

Homer Bailey takes the mound in the rubber match

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at Kansas City Royals Peter G. Aiken

The 2019 Royals don’t have an affinity for close baseball games. They are 3-8 in one run games and 5-11 in games decided by two runs or fewer. This struggle in close games explains rather easily why they are 15-28 with the run differential of a 20-23 team.

However, in recent days, they have seemingly abandoned even participating in close games at all. Dating back to April 18, seven of their last eight wins have been by at least four runs, good for a run differential of +57. During that same span, eight of their 16 losses have been by at least four runs, including each of their last four, for a run differential of -59.

You can see here the off-balanced nature of the Royals season thus far. Even as their last four losses have come at a -26 and even as their loss total has doubled their win total since April 8 (8-16), they have only been outscored by two runs during that span.

With that being said, the Royals will send Homer Bailey to the mound, who is coming off back-to-back wins, giving up just three runs in 11 innings over those two starts. Today, he will look for a third consecutive winning decision, something that he hasn’t done since he won five straight starts in 2014.

He will be backed by what is almost certainly the Royals best offensive lineup, with both Billy Hamilton and Chris Owings on the bench. Whit Merrifield will make his first start of the season in center field.