Opinion

Royals clash with Astros in meeting of unlikely American League leaders

Joe Blanton will start the first game of the Royals’ series against the Astros.
Joe Blanton will start the first game of the Royals’ series against the Astros. AP

It’s a matchup between unlikely division leaders as the Royals meet the Astros.

Few prognosticators picked Kansas City to repeat their October feats of 2014. Even fewer picked Houston to emerge from the chrysalis of rebuilding as a playoff contender. But here the Astros are.

These are the only two teams in the American League who reside 10 games above .500 or better. The Royals, of course, have the best record in the league. But they’ll be put to the test this weekend, facing a trio of talented young pitchers at Minute Maid Park.

Here are the pitching matchups for this three-game series:

Monday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Joe Blanton (2-0, 1.73 ERA) vs. RHP Lance McCullers (3-2, 2.33 ERA).

Tuesday, 7:10 p.m.: LHP Danny Duffy (2-3, 5.44 ERA) vs. LHP Dallas Keuchel (9-3, 2.17 ERA).

Wednesday, 7:10 p.m.: RHP Edinson Volquez (8-4, 3.18 ERA) vs. RHP Vince Velasquez (0-0, 3.72 ERA).

FROM THE STAR

1. Salvador Perez recorded the 500th hit of his career on Sunday, the decisive blow as the Royals swept the Athletics.

2. Sam Mellinger wrote a column about the patchwork Royals surviving injuries to complete the sweep.

THE ROYALS’ PLAYOFF PERCENTAGE (ACCORDING TO BASEBALL PROSPECTUS)

79.5 percent.

HERE IS SOME ROCK MUSIC

“Another Night” by The Men.

To reach Andy McCullough, call 816-234-4730 or send email to rmccullough@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @McCulloughStar. Download True Blue, The Star’s free Royals app, here.

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