Thanks to hiccups by the Texas Rangers and Tampa Bay Rays, the Kansas City Royals still have some hope for the playoffs despite going 3-3 last week. The Rangers lost six straight and the Rays went 2-4, keeping the Royals’ slim playoff hopes alive.
The Cleveland Indians took better advantage of the Wild Card leaders’ stumbles last week as they went 5-2 and are now knocking on the door for a playoff berth. On Monday night, the Indians and Royals began a huge three-game series and KC came away with a much-needed 7-1 victory.
The next five games will be absolutely crucial for Kansas City. After the Cleveland series, KC travels to Texas to face the reeling Rangers, who currently hold the last Wild Card position. After that, the Royals have no more games against teams in the Wild Card race. This is their last chance to knock down some of the teams in front of them before they are forced to rely on help from around the league.
It’s a stretch, but if Kansas City can get hot and take the next five games, it’s very likely that it would put them in the lead for the last Wild Card berth. Even if they don’t sweep them, but still win the next two series, it should still keep their playoff hopes alive.
The Indians, on the other hand, are still very much in the thick of the race at half a game back, and will be in a great position to make a run for the postseason if they can take their current series from Kansas City. Cleveland finishes the season with the Houston Astros, Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins, the three worst teams in the AL.