How they fared: The Royals against the rest of the American League postseason teams

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Regular Season records really don’t matter once you get to October.  We take a look at the Royals records versus the rest of the postseason teams.

It’s that time of the year where every “expert” starts to look at regular season stats to predict how the postseason will play out.  In reality, nobody knows how the postseason will play out.  Who would have guessed that the Royals and the San Francisco Giants would meet in last year’s World Series, considering how both teams were wild card teams.  Also, the Royals swept the Giants in August, but, lost the World Series in seven game.  Therefore, a regular season match-ups really don’t tell much of a story unless you face one of their big arms.  Here is how the Royals fared this season against:

 

Houston Astros:

Record: 2-4 (0-3 in Houston, 2-1 in Kansas City)

Date

Venue

Houston Starter

Kansas City Starter

Result

June 29th

Minute Maid Park, Houston

Lance McCuellers

(6-7, 3.22 ERA)

Joe Blanton

(2-2, 3.89 ERA)^

Astros win, 6-4

June 30th

Minute Maid Park, Houston

Dallas Keuchel (20-8, 2.48 ERA)

Danny Duffy

(7-8, 4.08 ERA)

Astros win, 4-0

July 1st

Minute Maid Park, Houston

Vincent Velasquez

(1-1, 4.37 ERA)

Edison Volquez

(13-9, 3.55 ERA)

Astros win, 6-5

July 24th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Scott Kazmir

(2-6, 4.17 ERA)*

Jeremy Guthrie

(8-8, 5.95 ERA)

Astros win, 4-0

July 25th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Scott Feldman

(5-5, 3.90 ERA)

Danny Duffy

(7-8, 4.08 ERA)

Royals win, 2-1

10 innings

July 26th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Dallas Keuchel

(20-8, 2.48 ERA)

Yordano Ventura

(13-8, 4.08 ERA)

Royals win, 5-1

* – denotes numbers with Astros

^ – denotes numbers with Royals

What this means for the postseason:  The Royals faced Scott Kazmir and Dallas Keuchel and went 1-2 against them.  The good news is that, overall, the Royals have dominated Kazmir in his career (5-8, 4.54 ERA over 20 starts) and the Royals were able to get to Keuchel in Kansas City.  Yordano Ventura also pitched well in his start versus Houston (he had really struggled up to that point).

The bad news is that the Astros did hit Edison Volquez well and that would be a potential Game 3 match-up in Houston against Dallas Keuchel, who did shut down the Royals when they were in Houston.

The Royals did face the best of the Astros pitching staff and were 1-2.  The Astros were 1-1 against two of our three top starters.

 

New York Yankees:

Record:  2-4 (0-3 in New York, 2-1 in Kansas City)

Date

Venue

New York Starter

Kansas City Starter

Result

May 15th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Michael Pineda (12-10, 4.57 ERA)

Chris Young

(11-6, 3.06 ERA)

Royals win, 12-1

May 16th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

CC Sabathia

(6-10, 4.73 ERA)

Danny Duffy

(7-8, 4.08 ERA)

Yankees win, 5-1

May 17th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Chris Capuano

(0-4, 7.97 ERA)

Edison Volquez

(13-9, 3.55 ERA)

Royals win, 6-0

May 25th

Yankee Stadium,

New York

Nathan Eovaldi

(14-3, 4.20 ERA)

Jeremy Guthrie

(8-8, 5.95 ERA)

Yankees win, 14-1

May 26th

Yankee Stadium,

New York

Adam Warren

(7-7, 3.29 ERA)

Jason Vargas

(5-2, 3.98 ERA)

Yankees win, 5-1

May 27th

Yankee Stadium,

New York

Michael Pineda

(12-10, 4.57 ERA)

Chris Young

(11-6, 3.06 ERA)

Yankees win, 4-2

 

What this means for the Postseason:  Absolutely nothing.  The Yankees swept the Royals in New York without facing any pitchers that will be in the Royals postseason rotation.  The Royals did beat Michael Pineda once while the Yankees lost to Edison Volquez.  However, since all the meetings between the two teams happened in May, it really doesn’t give you much of a read as to how a postseason series could go.

 

Texas Rangers:

Record:  3-4 (2-2 in Texas, 1-2 in Kansas City)

Date

Venue

Texas Starter

Kansas City Starter

Result

May 11th

Globe Life Park,

Arlington

Colby Lewis

(17-9, 4.66 ERA)

Danny Duffy

(7-8, 4.08 ERA)

Rangers win, 8-2

May 12th

Globe Life Park,

Arlington

Nick Martinez

(7-7, 3.96 ERA)

Edison Volquez

(13-9, 3.55 ERA)

Royals win, 7-6

10 innings

May 13th

Globe Life Park,

Arlington

Yovani Gallardo

(13-11, 3.42 ERA)

Yordano Ventura

(13-8, 4.08 ERA)

Rangers win, 5-2

May 14th

Globe Life Park,

Arlington

Ross Detwiler

(0-5, 7.12 ERA)*

Jeremy Guthrie

(8-8, 5.95 ERA)

Royals win, 6-3

June 5th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Chi Chi Gonzalez

(4-6, 3.90 ERA)

Edison Volquez

(13-9, 3.55 ERA)

Rangers win, 4-0

June 6th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Wandy Rodriguez

(6-4, 4.90 ERA)

Yordano Ventura

(13-8, 4.08 ERA)

Rangers win, 4-2

June 7th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Colby Lewis

(17-9, 4.66 ERA)

Jeremy Guthrie

(8-8, 5.95 ERA)

Royals win, 4-3

* – denotes numbers with Texas

What this means for the Postseason:  Again, not much.  It is safe to say that both teams are better now than when they faced each other in May and June.  The Rangers added Cole Hamels from the Phillies and the Royals added Johnny Cueto from the Reds.  The Rangers did fairly well against Edison Volquez and Yordano Ventura, however, they faced Ventura before he was sent down to Omaha and before he started pitching like the Ventura of last season.  Also, the Royals won 2 out of their 3 games with Jeremy Guthrie on the hill for the team.  Really, there is not much to read into this.

 

Toronto Blue Jays:

Record: 3-4 (1-3 in Toronto, 2-1 in Kansas City)

Date

Venue

Toronto Starter

Kansas City Starter

Result

July 10th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Marco Estrada

(13-8, 3.13 ERA)

Danny Duffy

(7-8, 4.08 ERA)

Royals win, 3-0

July 11th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Mark Buehrle

(15-8, 3.81 ERA)

Chris Young

(11-6, 3.06 ERA)

Blue Jays win, 6-2

July 12th

Kauffman Stadium,

Kansas City

Felix Doubront

(1-1, 4.76 ERA)*

Edison Volquez

(13-9, 3.55 ERA)

Royals win, 11-10

July 30th

Rogers Centre,

Toronto

Marco Estrada

(13-8, 3.13 ERA)

Danny Duffy

(7-8, 4.08 ERA)

Blue Jays win, 5-2

July 31st

Rogers Centre,

Toronto

Drew Hutchison

(13-5, 5.57 ERA)

Johnny Cueto

(4-7, 4.76 ERA)^

Blue Jays win, 7-6

11 innings

August 1st

Rogers Centre,

Toronto

Mark Buehrle

(15-8, 3.81 ERA)

Yordano Ventura

(13-8, 4.08 ERA)

Royals win, 6-5

August 2nd

Rogers Centre,

Toronto

R.A. Dickey

(11-11, 3.91 ERA)

Edison Volquez

(13-9, 3.55 ERA)

Blue Jays win, 5-2

* – denotes numbers for Toronto

^ – denotes numbers for Kansas City

What this means for the Postseason:  The Royals top three in the rotation had mixed results.  The Royals were 2-2 with Cueto, Ventura, and Volquez on the mound.  Those numbers can be a little misleading, however, as Volquez didn’t get any help from his defense in Kansas City and Cueto left the game in Toronto with a 6-3 lead.

There were really no blow outs with every game but one being within three runs.  Also, the Royals were one of the few teams to actually shut out the Blue Jays.  That being said, the pitching will have to do better should the two teams face in the ALCS because, with Toronto, no lead is safe.

 

In reality, regular season head-to-head match-ups do not mean much once you get to October.  Just ask the 1988 New York Mets, who went 10-1 against the Dodgers in the regular season only to lose the NLCS, 4-3.

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