Opinion

Jason Vargas duels with Justin Verlander as Royals begin crucial series with Tigers

Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas.
Kansas City Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas. The Kansas City Star

You know the stakes. You know the situation.

Here the pitching matchups this weekend as the Royals host the Tigers at Kauffman Stadium:

Friday, 7:10 p.m.: Jason Vargas (11-9, 3.41 ERA) vs. Justin Verlander (13-12, 4.81 ERA).

Saturday, 12:05 p.m.: James Shields (14-7, 3.15 ERA) vs. Max Scherzer (16-5, 3.26 ERA).

Sunday, 1:10 p.m.: Jeremy Guthrie (11-11, 4.35 ERA) vs. Rick Porcello (15-11, 3.19 ERA).

FROM THE STAR

For Page One, a preview of this weekend, “the biggest series since 1985.”

Here is a thorough graphical breakdown of the series from Blair Kerkhoff.

Sam Mellinger wrote a column about a similar weekend in 1985.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

73.7 percent.

THE STANDINGS IN THE AMERICAN LEAGUE CENTRAL

KC trails Detroit by a half-game.

THE STANDINGS IN THE WILD CARD RACE

KC leads Oakland by a half-game in the race to host the Wild Card game. Seattle trails KC by 1 1/2 games.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“Blue Velvet” by Childhood.

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

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