Monday, June 27, 2016

MLB Preview: St Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals - 6/27/2016 - 8:15 PM EST

MLB Preview: St Louis Cardinals vs. Kansas City Royals - Date: 6/27/2016 Time: 08:15 P.M. EST Venue: Kauffman Stadium   KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- When the St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals first began playing interleague games, there would be a sea of red at Kauffman Stadium. Money Cappers. There were nearly as many Cardinals fans in the Kansas City seats as Royals fans. Of course, the Royals were bad -- really bad -- for more than a decade, but that has changed. Profitable MLB Baseball Handicappers. The Royals have been to the past two World Series and won it all in 2015. When the Cardinals open a four-game series with the Royals Monday night at Kauffman Stadium, there won't be much room for Cardinals fans. Sports Handicapping Service Leads. The stadium will be filled with mostly blue with scant red. MLB Baseball Handicappers. The R oyals are averaging 33,063 fans a game and have attracted 1,190,298 for the first 36 home dates. Best Free Sports Picks. The inter-state rival has not been kind to the Royals. Free MLB Baseball Picks. The Redbirds lead the all-time series 50-36. Royals fans, however, quickly point out, that does not include the 1985 World Series, which the Royals beat the Cardinals in seven games. The Royals have lost 31 of 49 games at Kansas City, but hold a 13-12 advantage in new Busch Stadium. Both clubs enter the series with identical 39-35 records and are contending to return to postseason. The Royals snapped a four-game losing streak with a 6-1 victory Sunday over Houston, snapping the Astros' seven-game winning streak. Ian Kennedy struck out 11, one shy of his career high, while Kendrys Morales hit two home runs, his 15th career multi-homer game, but his first this season. Rookie Cheslor Cuthbert hit a two-run homer and has three home runs in his past four games. He is hitting .340 with five home runs and 12 RBIs in his past 14 games. Whit Merrifield, another Royals rookie, has reached base in 30 of his first 32 career starts. His 45 hits in his first 33 games are the most since Yasiel Puig recorded 54 hits in his first 33 games in 2012 with the Los Angeles Dodgers." Very impressed," Royals manager Ned Yost said of the two newcomers, neither who made the opening day roster. Merrifield, while he can play several positions, has replaced Omar Infante as the everyday second baseman. The Royals recently released Infante, despite owing him more than $14 million this year and next. Cuthbert has replaced Mike Moustakas, who tore his ACL and is out for the year, at third base." We knew he had that kind of power," Yost said. "It's not 30 home run power, but it's 15 to 20. He's still a youn g guy, still figuring this league out, but what a job he's done offensively for us. I've been very impressed with his at-bats. When we lost Moose, I knew Ches could handle the position, third base adequately enough and cover Moose there, but the offense has been exciting to see." The Royals also got back Gold Glove outfielder Alex Gordon back Saturday after missing 30 games with a fractured right wrist. While left-hander Danny Duffy will start the Monday opener, the Royals get another pitcher back Tuesday when right-hander Yordano Ventura starts after serving an eight-game suspension. The Cardinals won 11-6 Sunday at Seattle. Matt Carpenter hit two home runs, while Matt Holliday also homered. Carpenter has 13 home runs, while Holliday has 14. The two Matts have combined for 91 RBIs. St. Louis will start right-hander Adam Wainwright in the first game. Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is 8-for-26, .308, off Wainwright. No other Royals player has more than 17 at-ba ts against Wainwright. Wainwright has pitched at least six innings and allowed three or less runs in his past seven starts. He owns a 2.36 ERA in June. Catcher Brayan Pena, a former Royal, is expected to make his Cardinals debut in the series. Pena has been out all season after knee surgery in spring training. The Cardinals will have a new closer for the series with Trevor Rosenthal removed from that role after blowing a save Friday against the Mariners. He has a 14.14 ERA in June and 5.63 for the year. He is also averaging 7.9 walks per nine innings." We just need to figure out a way to get him right and figure out how to get him to the point of being the pitcher that he's been the last few years," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny told "Right now, the ninth inning is a tough ask to do that. We'll continue to watch, but right now we're going to wait and see if we can get him into some spots to get him in that good place."