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Game LVI: Royals at Rangers

Old Friend Alert on the mound for the Rangers

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MLB: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Wins have been hard to come by of late for the Kansas City Royals. Since March 29, 2018, the Royals are 76-141. Only the Baltimore Orioles, who very nearly compiled the worst record in modern American League history last season with 115 losses, have a worst record during that span.

For the briefest of moments this season, it seemed as if the Royals were improving. As recently as May 7, their run differential was just -3. On that day, the 13-24 Royals trailed the 21-16 Brewers in run differential by just one run. That led to May 14, with the Royals entering a matchup with the Rangers at 14-27. For whatever reason, The Athletic reported that internally, the Royals were thinking about the second Wild Card spot. That was obviously a pipe dream.

Not that they were in position at the moment to make that run, but since that report, the Royals have won just four games of 14 games. They now sit at 18-37, one game worse than the 19-36 mark they established through their first 55 games last season. The Royals are still five games worse than they should be according to their Pythagorean record, but they keep managing to lose anyway.

Entering tonight’s contest against the Rangers, Kansas has lost six of their last seven. To make matters worse, their previous four losses have been by one run. For those counting at home, that makes the Royals 4-12 in one-run games. For reference, the 2015 Royals lost just 17 one-run games all season.

They will look to end a fairly miserable May on a positive note by working toward their first road series of the season. If the Royals fail to win this series, they will have to wait until June 14 for another shot at their first road series win. They have already set the franchise record for the longest stretch to begin a season without a road series win.

In tonight’s series opener, Jakob Junis will take the mound for the Royals opposite of old friend Mike Minor. Junis is looking to build off of a strong start against the Yankees last Saturday while Minor looks to continue his early success that has made him a top-five AL starter thus far in the season.

Here are your lineups for the evening: