If there ever was a time for the Royals to make up some ground in the wild-card chase, it would be this week.
By PETE GRATHOFF
The Kansas City Star
That’s because many of the teams battling the Royals for the wild card are playing each other this week. The Rays play the Orioles, and then Tampa Bay takes on the Yankees. After that series, Baltimore faces Oakland.
So there will be some good old fashioned scoreboard watching going on this week.
Here’s what the week ahead looks like in the wild-card chase.
Playoff odds: 87.2 percent
Last 10: 4-6
Who’s hot: In his last six games, Evan Longoria has two homers, four doubles and a .409 average.
This week: 3 at Orioles, 3 vs. Yankees
Good for Royals: The Rays have a losing record (33-39) against teams with a winning record, and they play in a division with three other above .500 teams.
Bad for Royals: The Rays have the best record among AL East teams over the last 30 days
Playoff odds: 74.2 percent
Last 10: 6-4
Who’s hot: Rookie Sonny Gray has a 1.00 ERA in four games, including two starts.
This week: 3 vs. Mariners, 3 at Orioles
Good for Royals: Starter Bartolo Colon is on the disabled list.
Bad for Royals: Oakland’s starters are tied for third for most quality starts (72).
ORIOLES (67-56, 3 GB)
Playoff odds: 18.9 percent
Last 10: 5-5
Who’s hot: Chris Davis has a .941 OPS since the All-Star break.
This week: 3 vs. Rays, 3 vs. A’s
Good for Royals: Could be a closer debate forming as Jim Johnson has struggled of late and Francisco Rodriguez has experience finishing games.
Bad for Royals: Davis is still clubbing home runs at a ridiculous pace.
INDIANS (66-58, 4.5 GB)
Playoff odds: 25.4 percent
Last 10: 4-6
Who’s hot: Michael Bourn has 17 RBIs in his last 26 games.
This week: 3 at Angels, 3 vs. Twins
Reason to fear them: Team Schizo, as the Indians are being called, has had three good streaks this year where they’ve gone a combined 46-13.
Reason for hope: During their four bad streaks, the Indians have a combined record of 17-43. That’s a . 283 winning percentage.
ROYALS (64-59, 6 GB)
Playoff odds: 6.1 percent
Last 10: 4-6
Who’s hot: DH Billy Butler is hitting .392 with three home runs in his last 12 games.
This week: 3 vs. White Sox, 3 vs. Washington
YANKEES (64-59, 6 GB)
Playoff odds: 4.3 percent
Last 10: 7-3
Who’s hot: Alfonso Soriano has five home runs, 18 RBIs and a .484 average in his last seven games.
This week: 4 vs. Blue Jays, 3 at Rays
Good for Royals: The Yankees have the second-fewest home runs in the AL this season (109).
Bad for Royals: The Alex Rodriguez saga doesn’t seem to be as detrimental to the team as one might have hoped.
To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow his updates at twitter.com/pgrathoff