The Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals get set to face each other for the first time in 2017, and both teams lie at opposite ends of the standings.
The Baltimore Orioles have a half-game lead in the AL East, while the Royals, at 13-21, are the worst team in the American League.
The Royals also have the worst run differential in the AL, and as of Thursday, finally scored 100 runs on the season. Through 34 games the Royals have scored 103 runs, which averages right at three runs a game (3.03). That’s not okay. The Orioles, meanwhile have scored 149 runs, good enough for 4.52 runs per game, which is just above the league average.
For me, this series always takes on a bit of special meaning. My wife hated baseball until she met me. She has a sweet spot for Chris Davis, but she also has family in Kansas City. She is already a Chiefs fan and wanted to be different from me, so she became a Royals fan. We got married in October 2014, just before the Orioles and Royals played each other in the American League Championship Series. Not exactly the best timing.
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We went to the Orioles v. Royals matchup in Baltimore in 2015, which notably included scoring ten runs in the eighth inning on grand slams by Nolan Reimold and Steve Clevenger. Chris Davis was also hit by a pitch in the inning, after a Manny Machado home run and an Adam Jones single.
This game was also, until 2017, the game in which Caleb Joseph had his last RBI.
In 2016, the matchup between these teams featured a fight between Machado and Yordano Ventura. Out of respect for the Ventura family and the Royals organization, I won’t go further into that.
When you include the Ain’t Royal shirts, etc., these two teams have a bit of a history. A lot of the key players are no longer involved, and the Orioles don’t need any more dramatics.
So, let’s talk baseball.