The Royals are one of those teams.
On the cusp of being “good,” the Kansas City faithful has hung onto the idea that likes of Alex Gordon, Mike Moustakas, and Eric Hosmer would lead a generally irrelevant franchise back to a level of respectability it enjoyed during the 1980s and the days of George Brett.
What you need to know about The Royals:
2014 Record: 10-11, last place in AL Central, two games back of first.
2013 Record: 86-76, Third place in AL Central.
Managed by: Ned Yost.
Streak: After winning six straight, the Royals have dropped four of five.
Turning Point: Royals’ DH Billy Butler has struggled mightily through 21 games, batting below the Mendoza Line (sub-.200). If he can find a way to get his bat going, along with the rest of the solid KC lineup, it could spell trouble for an O’s rotation that has struggled to minimize pitch-counts and efficiency.
Pitching Matchup of the Series: Ubaldo Jimenez takes the bump for the fifth time as an Orioles’ starter. He’ll be paired with Royals’ flame-throwing sensation Yordano Ventura. Jimenez (0-3) is still looking for his first win this season, while Ventura, after earning his first Big League win two starts ago, is looking to rebound from a rocky outing last weekend. This matchup will set the tone for the series, and if Ventura has his command working, Jimenez could find himself in another spot where he needs to work into the late innings and be much better than he’s been thus far.
Prediction: The O’s bats came alive in Toronto, and with a healthy lineup for this weekend series at Camden Yards, there’s no reason to think the Birds can’t take two-of-three.