The Playoff Race: Kansas City Royals on Cusp of Playoffs


Sep 23, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Kansas City Royals designated hitter Billy Butler (16) scores beside Cleveland Indians catcher Yan Gomes (10) in the seventh inning at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals smashed the Cleveland Indians 7-1 Tuesday night, behind 6 doubles from the offense and 7 shutout innings from starter Yordano Ventura. The win all but guaranteed the Royals a playoff spot, by reducing their magic number to 3 with 5 games to play.

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Right now, ESPN is estimating Kansas City’s playoff percentage at 99.7%, with the Royals 1 game behind the Tigers in the A.L. Central and 3 games ahead of the Mariners for the A.L.’s final wild card position.

At long last, the Royals appear to have the playoffs in their grasp for the first time in 29 years.

The Royals can clinch as early as Thursday night, if they win their next two games and get at least one loss from the Mariners.

Here’s to an early playoff party in Kansas City. You’ve waited a long time for this, Kansas City. Enjoy it.


1DET8770.554W 16-623-2049-3938-316-412-819-11
2KCR8671.5481.0W 35-722-2444-4442-276-411-915-15
3CLE8276.5195.5L 213-824-2135-4747-295-510-1017-13
4CHW7285.45915.0L 16-827-2444-5528-305-510-1013-17
5MIN6790.42720.0W 16-720-2442-6225-285-57-1310-20

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table.

The Tigers escaped a scare from the White Sox, after Chicago tied their game at 3-3 with a 3-run rally in the top of the 9th. However, Detroit scored in the bottom of the 9th on a single by Miguel Cabrera for the walkoff win.

The victory allowed the Tigers to maintain their slim, 1-game lead over the Royals for the A.L. Central title with 5 games left to play. Detroit, however, faces a tough task in Chicago ace Chris Sale on Wednesday.

Kansas City’s win on Wednesday puts the Indians’ playoff hopes on life support. Cleveland trails Kansas City by 4.5 games, with 4 games remaining for the Tribe, and 5 for KC. The Royals would have to lose all of their remaining games, and Cleveland win all of its remaining games, simply for the Indians to pull into a tie for the wild card.

Not likely. Cleveland faces elimination in their series finale on Wednesday night vs. Kansas City.


3DET8770.554W 16-623-2049-3938-316-412-819-11
4 KCR8671.548W 35-722-2444-4442-276-411-915-15
5 OAK8671.548L 113-821-2544-3942-325-57-1311-19
6 SEA8374.5293.0L 43-716-2641-3442-403-79-1114-16
7 CLE8276.5194.5L 213-824-2135-4747-295-510-1017-13
8 NYY8176.5165.0L 17-726-2440-4441-325-510-1015-15

Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table. Lo

The Oakland A’s dropped into a tie with Kansas City for the A.L.’s top wild card by losing to the Los Angeles Angels (who have already clinched the A.L. West) 2-0. The A’s, however, are fortunate that the Mariners have lost their last 4 games, or else their epic slide might have put them out of the post-season.

Seattle’s King Felix could not get the job done on Tuesday night, as the Mariners lost 10-2 to the Blue Jays. Toronto clobbered the Seattle ace for 8 runs in 4.2 innings, for only his 6th loss of the season. The loss puts the Mariners 3 games behind Oakland and Kansas City in the wild card standings with 5 games to play.

The Mariners pretty much need a miracle.

Cleveland and New York are in even a more precarious position than the Indians. The Indians and Yankees need to win all of their remaining games to even have a chance at TYING for a wild card position. Both could be eliminated on Wednesday night either by losing, or wins by Kansas City and Oakland.