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ALDS: Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals will host the Houston Astros in the first two games of the ALDS on Thursday and Friday.  (

The Kansas City Royals will host the Houston Astros in the first two games of the ALDS on Thursday and Friday.

The Kansas City Royals had a breakout season in 2014 by clinching a wild card spot and then reaching the World Series before falling to the Giants. But. in 2015, the Royals took the American League Central title and will now face off against the Houston Astros who defeated the New York Yankees in the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday night. The Royals will host the first two games of the five game series at Kauffman Stadium on Thursday and Friday.

Game 1 Matchup:

RHP Collin McHugh (3.89, 19-7) will start for the Astros against the Royals’ RHP Yordano Ventura (4.08, 13-8).

McHugh has only faced the Royals once and it was in May of 2014, and in that outing he pitched a seven inning shutout. Look for Ben Zobrist, who is the most familiar with McHugh to possibly have success against the right-hander.

Ventura struggled at the beginning of the season but since July went 9-1 and helped improved the Royals’ postseason hopes. Ventura also doesn’t have much experience against the Astros but, in the past Jason Castro and Marwin Gonzalez have each hit over .400 against the righty.

Game 2 Matchup:

On Friday afternoon the Astros and Royals will face-off in the second game of the series with both teams sending their trade deadline acquisitions to the mound in LHP Scott Kazmir (3.10, 7-11) for Houston and RHP Johnny Cueto (3.44, 11-13) for the Royals.

Kazmir was traded from the Oakland A’s to the Astros as they tried to beef up their starting rotation to make a playoff run. Kazmir has had success against quite  a few Royals that are due in the lineup such as Lorenzo Cain who holds just a .167 average and Mike Moustakas and Ben Zobrist who also hold under .200 average against the lefty. Eric Homser has hit .391 against Kazmir and Omar Infante is hitting .563 along with 2 homers and 7 RBIs.

Cueto who was acquired from the Cincinnati Reds, has made three playoff starts in his career but since joining the Royals hasn’t shown the dominance that everyone has expected. In seven starts at home, he racked up a 4.40 ERA along with a 3-4 record his overall record since joining the Royals is 4-7 with a 4.76 ERA. Colby Rasmus has a career .364 average a homer and 5 RBIs in 22 at-bats against Cueto.

The Game 3 and possible Game 4 or 5 pitching decisions will be announced this weekend.


Bethany is a Graduate of the University of South Florida and currently resides in Tampa. She is a die-hard Yankees' fan and has been a freelance writer for six years. She has covered the Yankees' Minor League System since 2010 and also does freelance work for and CBS Local Tampa Bay. Follow her on Twitter @TampaBethany

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