Today the Royals open a four-game series against the Houston Astros. The Astros, if you haven’t been paying attention, have the second-most wins in baseball. The Royals are tied with the third-fewest. On paper, this series is unlikely to favor the Royals at all. But there’s a reason they actually play the games and hopefully among those reasons will be a Royals win this afternoon.
The Royals will send rookie right-hander Jonathan Heasley to the mound. The bad news is that Heasley has not been particularly good in his short career; the good news is that he managed to eke out a quality start against the Astros nearly a month ago. Six innings and three runs while striking out five and walking only two in a losing effort. A stark reminder that even if Heasley pitches well, the hitters will have to scratch together some runs.
The Astros will counter with former Royal Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi is now well into his ninth, full big-league season and continues to be solid and occasionally brushing up against well-above-average. The righty has dealt with some injury issues this season but in seven starts has accumulated a 3.13 ERA. He hasn’t pitched against KC this season but he’s always struggled against the team with which he made his major league debut. He has a career 3-6 record with a 5.48 ERA against KC in fourteen starts and a single relief appearance.