The Sox currently hold a 2.5 game lead in the AL East. Meanwhile, the Royals have one 13-2 in their last 15 games, but have been unable to gain any ground on the Detroit Tigers, who are on an 11 game winning streak. However, a Wild Card position isn’t looking out of the question for a Royals team that hasn’t made the postseason in 27 years.
Kansas City is once again getting excited about baseball. First baseman Eric Hosmer is having a great bounce-back season. Hosmer is batting .297 this year compared to .232 last season. Hosmer isn’t the only one putting up big numbers. The Royals’ pitching staff has been superb. They have the sixth-best ERA in the majors. Good pitching and good hitting equals wins.
Thursday’s pitching matchup will feature Jon Lester (10-6) for the Red Sox facing Bruce Chen (4-0) on the hill for the Royals. The way both teams are playing, it is hard to determine who has the edge in this one. 31-25 is the road record for Boston, which is almost identical to the 29-25 home record for the the Royals.
This series has serious playoff implications. If the Sox can win, it they will help their chances of winning the AL East. If the Royals can take it, they will improve their position in the Wild Card race. It should be fun to watch.