Opinion

Jason Vargas starts for Royals as critical week against Giants, Athletics begins

Jason Vargas will be on the bump for the Royals in Friday night’s opener against the San Francisco Giants.
Jason Vargas will be on the bump for the Royals in Friday night’s opener against the San Francisco Giants. The Kansas City Star

The Royals have won five consecutive series, culminating in a sweep of the Diamondbacks this week at Chase Field. They possess the second wild card. Detroit is within their sights in the American League Central.

But this week will be critical. The Royals play seven games against the two teams from the Bay Area, two of the best clubs in baseball. Here are the pitching matchups as the Giants come to Kauffman Stadium this weekend:

Friday, 7:10 p.m.: LHP Jason Vargas (8-5, 3.69 ERA) vs. LHP Madison Bumgarner (13-8, 3.21 ERA).

Saturday, 6:10 p.m.: RHP James Shields (10-6, 3.43 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (8-8, 2.74 ERA).

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.: LHP Danny Duffy (6-10, 2.39 ERA) vs. RHP Tim Lincecum (9-7, 4.22 ERA).

FROM THE STAR

Jeremy Guthrie tossed a complete game, the Royals swept Arizona and pulled even closer to Detroit.

Kelvin Herrera has joined Wade Davis and Greg Holland in Ned Yost’s late-game calculus.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

34.3 percent.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

"Loose Ends" by Real Friends.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4370 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @McCulloughStar.

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