The Houston Astros will meet the Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of their best-of-five American League Division Series (ALDS) on Thursday at 7:30pm ET at the Kauffman Stadium at the Kauffman Stadium to shown live on FOX Sports 1.
Tonight's game will be the first postseason for the Astros since their run to the World Series in 2005. The Astros' ace, lefty Dallas Keuchel, had not previously pitched on short rest. He responded with six shutout innings on three days' rest, and the Astros were on their way.
The Royals had a postseason absence much longer than that. Prior to last October, it had been 29 years since the Royals were in the postseason, winning the 1985 World Series. The 2014 Royals staged a dramatic 12-inning AL Wild Card Game victory, coming from behind to defeat Jon Lester and the Oakland Athletics.
After establishing instant October credibility of that sort, the Royals staged an 8-0 run through the ALDS and AL Championship Series, winning the pennant. They subsequently ran into Madison Bumgarner and the Giants and lost the World Series in seven games, but their success was built on lock-down bullpen performances, night after night.
In a report, the New York Times said that the Kansas City Royals vs Houston Astros makes for an exciting matchup as both teams are capable of stealing bases but with the very distinct hitters. While the Astro's hitters led the A.L. as far as the number of strikeouts, the Royals' hitters posted the fewest. More importantly, the Astros recorded the second most number in home runs while the Royals are the second to the last in that aspect. "The Astros drew the fifth-most walks, and the Royals drew the fewest," the report said.
The New York Times noted, "Kansas City has lined up Yordano Ventura to start Game 1, with Johnny Cueto in Game 2 and Edinson Volquez in Game 3. The Astros would seem likely to start the 19-game winner Collin McHugh in the opener, with Keuchel on track for Game 3 in Houston, where he was 15-0 this season."
"There are home runs in Houston that won't make the warning track here," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "If we played in Houston, we'd love the long ball, too. They have power. They don't have cheap power. They can drive the ball out of the ballpark. But it's harder to hit home runs here.
"It's kind of fun because you're playing in two ballparks that are opposite ends of the scale, in this series."
How to Watch Online, Livestream, Mobile Phones
You can watch the ALDS Game 1 Kansas City Royals vs Houston Astros via Fox Sports 1 in Central New York:
- Time Warner: Channel 400 (SD & HD)
- Verizon Fios: Channel 583 (HD) and 83 (SD)
- DirectTV: Channel 219 (SD & HD)
- Dish Network: Channel 150 (SD &HD)
- New Visions: Channel 768 (HD) and 83 (SD)
Radio: ESPN Radio