Aug 19, 2014; Denver, CO, USA; Kansas City Royals second baseman Omar Infante (14) celebrates scoring in the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Playoff Race: Omar Infante Keeps the Royals in Place

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Omar Infante has been mostly disappointing as a free-agent acquisition most of the year, with an OPS+ 82—which lags his career mark of 92 and the 112 standard he set last season.

However, Tuesday night, Infante was everything the Kansas City Royals had hoped he would be going 4 for 5 with a single, 3 doubles, and 4 RBI’s in KC’s 7-4 win over the Rockies in Colorado.

The win kept the Royals 2 games up on the Tigers and Mariners for the AL Central lead and the 2nd wild card spot. Kansas City has spent the last 8 full days in first place. With a 2 game lead, they are certain to spend at least 2 days more atop the standings.

Right now, much of America is pulling for the R’s to break the longest playoff dry spell in U.S. major sports.

29 years is a long time to wait for a playoff berth. Even of you’re a Cubs fan.

AL Central

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 KCR 70 55 .560 33-28 37-27 17-21 50-38 20-17 38-35 32-20 8-2 22-8
2 DET 67 56 .545 2.0 33-29 34-27 19-17 42-38 25-18 36-33 31-23 4-6 14-16
3 CLE 63 61 .508 6.5 37-24 26-37 18-17 47-41 16-20 31-38 32-23 6-4 16-14
4 CHW 59 67 .468 11.5 31-31 28-36 21-18 42-51 17-16 36-40 23-27 4-6 14-16
5 MIN 55 69 .444 14.5 26-34 29-35 17-19 37-46 18-23 33-45 22-24 4-6 11-19
Avg 62 61 .505 32-29 30-32 18-18 43-42 19-18 34-38 28-23 5-4 15-14

Whew, the Tigers almost dropped another game to KC. Tampa Bay roared out to a 4-0 against Max Scherzer, but the Tigers rallied to take a late 5-4 lead. However, Joba Chamberlain allowed the Rays to tie it up at 5-all, and the game went into extra innings (just great for the Tigers’ depleted bullpen).

However, the Tiger rallied to score 3 runs in the top of the 11th and hung on to win 8-6—remaining 2 back of the Royals.

Cleveland is still hanging on the fringes of the division race at 6.5 back with their 7-5 win over the Twins.

AL Wild Card

Rk Tm W L W-L% GB Strk Home Road 1Run vRHP vLHP ≥.500 <.500 last10 last30
1 LAA 74 50 .597 W 2 41-23 33-27 23-18 53-34 21-16 32-37 42-13 7-3 17-13
2  OAK 74 51 .592 W 1 41-21 33-30 17-17 54-36 20-15 41-33 33-18 3-7 15-15
3 BAL 72 52 .581 W 3 34-26 38-26 24-18 51-37 21-15 42-35 30-17 7-3 20-10
4 KCR 70 55 .560 W 3 33-28 37-27 17-21 50-38 20-17 38-35 32-20 8-2 22-8
5  DET 67 56 .545 W 1 33-29 34-27 19-17 42-38 25-18 36-33 31-23 4-6 14-16
6  SEA 68 57 .544 W 1 34-32 34-25 14-22 41-41 27-16 39-28 29-29 7-3 17-13
7  NYY 63 60 .512 4.0 L 1 29-30 34-30 20-16 47-42 16-18 31-33 32-27 4-6 16-14
8  CLE 63 61 .508 4.5 W 1 37-24 26-37 18-17 47-41 16-20 31-38 32-23 6-4 16-14
9  TOR 64 62 .508 4.5 L 2 33-26 31-36 11-12 47-46 17-16 32-38 32-24 3-7 15-15
10  TBR 61 64 .488 7.0 L 3 28-35 33-29 17-16 46-47 15-17 35-48 26-16 5-5 19-11
11  CHW 59 67 .468 9.5 L 2 31-31 28-36 21-18 42-51 17-16 36-40 23-27 4-6 14-16
12  BOS 56 69 .448 12.0 L 3 29-35 27-34 24-24 37-47 19-22 31-49 25-20 5-5 13-17
13  MIN 55 69 .444 12.5 L 3 26-34 29-35 17-19 37-46 18-23 33-45 22-24 4-6 11-19
14  HOU 53 73 .421 15.5 W 2 29-36 24-37 13-21 37-51 16-22 31-50 22-23 5-5 13-17
15  TEX 48 77 .384 20.0 L 1 23-38 25-39 16-19 35-54 13-23 27-50 21-27 3-7 10-20
Avg 63 61 .506 32-29 31-31 18-18 44-43 18-18 34-39 28-22 5-5 15-14

The Mariners keep hanging in there despite a terrible offense. However, they could be formidable in a short series with King Felix and a pitching staff that has surrendered the fewest runs in the league at 397.

Behind Seattle, the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Indians are bunched at 4-4.5 games behind (6-6.5 behind KC)—then come the Rays at the very rear end of playoff contention at 7 games back.

Tampa has had a particularly tough road with only 42 games this season against teams under .500. They could be tough if they can get back in contention, plus they just got back 2013 rookie of the year Wil Myers from the DL.

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