Who To Root For: Weekend Edition


Sep 8, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Royals first basemen Eric Hosmer (35) celebrates with his teammates after hitting a three-run home run against the Detroit Tigers during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

In September every series is huge. And that will be no different this weekend for the Royals.

This weekend could be the difference between the Royals making the playoffs or missing the playoffs. Tampa Bay will be in Minnesota playing the Twins, a series Tampa should win, while the Royals have a tough series against the Detroit Tigers. In the midst of all that, KC will also be watching Baltimore, Cleveland, New York, and Texas to see what they are up to.

Depending on how things break, the Royals could be anywhere between 5.5 games back of the wild card or in the wild card lead. Crazy, I know.

Here are the current wild card standings:

TEX: 81-64 (+2)

TB: 79-66 (–)


NY: 79-68 (1)

CLE: 78-68 (1.5)

KC: 77-69 (2.5)

BAL: 77-69 (2.5)

So here is the break down of who is where and what the Royals need this weekend.


Kansas City needs series wins. While a sweep would obviously be amazing, winning the series should be the goal. A winning series means the worst position the Royals could be in would be 3.5 games out of the wild card. Tampa and Texas would then meet for four games from Monday to Thursday, which should give the Royals a real chance to gain serious ground on one of the two teams when KC takes on Cleveland next week.

Come out of Detroit with two wins and the Royals are in good shape.

VERDICT: Win the series.


Yes, the Royals are 4.5 games behind Texas now, but the Rangers have a very difficult schedule ahead of them. This includes their series this weekend against the current AL West leaders, Oakland.

What the Royals need here is for the Rangers to lose the series. The closer the Royals can get to Texas before their series against each other next week, the better.

VERDICT: Rangers lose at least two games.


The Indians had no issues with the White Sox yesterday, which allowed them to gain a half-game over the Royals in the standings. What would be awesome would be if the Indians dropped two games this weekend to the Sox, that would give the Royals a chance to pass them next weekend in Kansas City.

Ultimately, the Royals just need Cleveland to lose at least one game. The more games they drop against teams they should beat, the better for the Royals.

VERDICT: Lose at least once to Chicago.


The same principle that applied to the Indians applies to the Orioles. Kansas City is currently tied with Baltimore in the standings, and could use any loss the Orioles can get. KC has a bit of an edge in that Baltimore still has six games left against the Boston Red Sox. That should help out a lot in the long run.

VERDICT: Root for at least one loss.


Alright, here’s the biggest non-Royals series of the weekend for the Royals.

New York has the easiest remaining schedule of the wild card contenders, with this series against Boston being their hardest remaining series. This makes the Yankees the hardest team to catch for the Royals.

Kansas City needs New York to at least lose the series to Boston, but the really need them to get swept. A sweep would give the Royals an advantage over the Yankees moving forward. If there is any team in baseball who could get this done for KC, it would be the Red Sox.

VERDICT: Root for a Boston sweep of the Yankees.


September makes for strange bedfellows. Rooting for the Twins is going to be tough, but it is necessary for the Royals this weekend. Kansas City needs every Tampa Bay loss they can get, and that is especially true this weekend since the Royals are in Detroit.

Like the Baltimore and Cleveland series, Kansas City needs to root for Minnesota to not get swept. One loss for Tampa Bay would go a long way for Kansas City.


Worst Case: Royals get swept by Detroit. A sweep would be a killer, and likely something the Royals could not overcome.

Best Case: Texas and New York lose two games; Baltimore, Cleveland, and Tampa all lose a game each; Royals take two from Detroit.

In that scenario, the Royals would remain 2.5 games back of the wild card and within one game of New York, Cleveland, and Baltimore. It would also mean KC would be only 3.5 back of Texas.

Dream Case: Texas and New York get swept; Baltimore, Cleveland, and Tampa each lose two games; Royals sweep Detroit.

Here are what the standings would look like in a DREAM SCENARIO on Monday morning:

TEX: 81-67 (+1)

TB: 80-68 (–)


KC: 80-69 (0.5)

CLE: 79-70 (1.5)

NY: 79-71 (2)

BAL: 78-71 (2.5)

The dream scenario would be awesome, but it is not necessary. If Kansas City can take two games this weekend, they’ll be in really good shape going forward no matter what happens with the other teams.