Description: Royals outfielder Alex Rios (non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand) could be heading out on rehab assignment in about a week, according to Royals manager Ned Yost.
Insight: Rios was off to a fast start after a disappointing season in Texas, batting .321 through the first seven games before the injury.
Description: Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis picked up his seventh save in the, 3-0, victory over the Reds on Tuesday.
Insight: It is unclear why Greg Holland wasn't out there. He hasn't pitched since Thursday, so he should have been well rested for an appearance on Tuesday. Nevertheless, Davis owners will take it. Davis is 7-for-7 in save chances with 16 strikeouts and four walks in 17 innings this season.
Description: Royals right-hander Chris Young continues to excel in his spot starter role.
Insight: Young has made three starts this month because of suspensions and Jason Vargas' injury. On Friday, Young allowed just one run on four hits in 5 2/3 innings versus the Yankees. He also had two strikeouts and two walks. The 35 year old is 3-0 with a 0.94 ERA and 0.63 WHIP this season.
Description: Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain was 3-for-5 with five RBI and two runs in the, 12-1, rout of the Yankees on Friday.
Insight: Cain had an RBI-double in the first, sacrifice fly in the third, a two-run single in the sixth and another RBI-single in the seventh. Cain is slashing .326/.378/.473 with three home runs and 19 RBI in 129 at-bats this season.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez is not in Thursday's starting lineup.
Insight: Just a routine rest day. He has a .283 BA with an .718 OPS and should be a solid catching option all season. Drew Butera will get the start but he and his .167 batting average aren't fantasy worthy.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer continued his hot start to 2015 on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with two RBI in the, 6-2, victory over the Tigers.
Insight: Hosmer hit an RBI-double in the first and then a RBI-single in the second. Hosmer has a six game-hitting streak and is hitting .322/.396/.551 with five home runs and 25 RBI in 118 at-bats this season.
Description: Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera will serve a six-game suspension.
Insight: The suspension was reduced by one game, as he was give five games for throwing at Brett Lawrie of the Oakland Athletics, and two more for a bench-clearing brawl against the Chicago White Sox. Herrera will begin serving it on Thursday.
Description: Royals right fielder Alex Gordon has just two hits in 17 career at-bats against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco.
Insight: Gordon has been hitting a little bit better over the last two games, but it would probably be best to sit him on Wednesday. He is hitting .284 with three home runs and 14 RBI in 81 at-bats this season.
Description: Royals relief pitcher Wade Davis was perfect in the closer's role as a replacement for injured Greg Holland, but is expected to return to his normal setup role on Tuesday.
Insight: Davis has made 10 appearences this season and has yet to give up an earned run. He's yielded only four hits and struck out 11. He owns a 2-0 record with five saves , a 0.00 ERA and 0.500 WHIP.
Description: The Royals have placed shortstop Alcides Escobar on the 7-day concussion disabled list.
Insight: Escobar took a pitch in the cheek on Wednesday and hasn't played since then. The results of his concussion test are not back yet, but the club went ahead and put him on the DL anyway. Christian Colon will start for the Royals at second base until Escobar returns.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was not in the lineup on Thursday and is doubtful for Friday's game against Detroit.
Insight: Escobar has a left cheek bruise, which he suffered when he took a pitch in the head on Wednesday. Luckily, it doesn't appear to be too serious. Alex Gordon will likely lead off for Kansas City until Escobar returns.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is not in the lineup on Thursday against the Tigers.
Insight: Escobar has a left cheek bruise, which he suffered when he took a pitch in the head on Wednesday. Luckily, it doesn't appear to be too serious. Alex Gordon will lead off for Kansas City on Thursday.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar left Wednesday's game after getting hit in the head with a 96 mph fastball against the Indians according to the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Escobar was able to walk off the field on his own, but he left the game. It will be interesting to see if the Royals respond. Kansas City has already fought two American League clubs this season, which one of them stemmed from an injury.
Description: Royals designated hitter Kendrys Morales was 3-for-5 with four runs and three RBI in the, 11-5, victory over the Indians on Tuesday.
Insight: Morales hit a three-run homer in the seventh to give the Royals their first lead since the second inning. He also scored in the fourth, sixth and nine innings. Morales is hitting .321 with three home runs and 14 RBI this season.
Description: Oakland 1B/DH Billy Butler has struggled versus Angels pitcher Jared Weaver in his career.
Insight: Butler is 11-for-63 (.175) against Weaver with 11 strikeouts. Butler is hitting .325 with a .887 OPS in 77 at-bats this season, so it is understandable if owners just want to start him anyway, but the matchup suggests he won't have a good game.
Description: Royals right fielder Alex Gordon is just 6-for-34 versus White Sox pitcher John Danks.
Insight: Fantasy owners have to be disappointed with Gordon through the first three weeks of the season. He has sat out a lot of games and hasn't found his rhythm at the plate. Gordon is batting .239 with one home run in 46 at-bats.
Description: Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain is just 1-for-14 with five strikeouts against White Sox starter John Danks.
Insight: With an 80 percent chance of rain at U.S. Cellular Field in addition to a strong wind blowing in from left field, it's probably a good idea to avoid anyone in this game, not just Cain. Update: Saturday's game was postponed due to rain.
Description: Royals second baseman Omar Infante has 15 singles in his career versus Twins starter Mike Pelfrey.
Insight: Infante is 16-for-39 (.410) against Pelfrey, but only one hit was extra bases. Infante is only hitting .250 this season, however, he has a nine-game hitting streak and went 2-for-2 in his last start on Sunday.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas was 3-for-5 with a home run, three RBI and a run scored in the, 6-5, victory over the Twins on Tuesday.
Insight: Moustakas hit a two-run bomb in the fifth to give the Royals a two-run lead, and then the third baseman capped off an eighth inning rally with a single to score the winning run. Moustakas is off to a great start, hitting .327 with three home runs and five RBI.
Description: Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera has been suspended for five games after throwing at Brett Lawrie Sunday. Update: Herrera will appeal the suspension and can keep pitching until there is a decision on his appeal.
Insight: Herrera is another of the Royals' hard-throwing bullpen who averages a strikeout-per-inning, but he's only valuable to fantasy owners in leagues that accrue holds.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is questionable for Monday's game against Minnesota due to a sprained left knee.
Insight: Escobar had not missed a game since 2013 and has averaged 158 games per season over the past four years, so missing two games and possible more is obviously a rarity. Christian Colon is his replacement, but has no fantasy value.
Description: Royals center fielder Lorenzo Cain went 3-for-4 with a double and home run against the Twins on Thursday.
Insight: Cain hit a two-run homer in the first inning and then drove in another run on a double in the ninth. Cain finished with three runs and three RBI. He is off to a great start this season, hitting .429 with two home runs and 11 RBI in nine games.
Description: Royals right fielder Alex Gordon will sit on Thursday afternoon when Kansas City faces Minnesota and Tommy Milone.
Insight: Royals manager Ned Yost had said that Gordon would sit in some day games after a night game and here we are again as he sat last Thursday as well. Gordon is a career .252 hitter against left-handers vs. .275 against right-handers.
Description: Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson should see more playing time with starter Alex Rios sidelined by a broken left hand.
Insight: Dyson can add runs scored and stolen bases for fantasy owners, but carries a mediocre batting average and below par OPS for the outfield position. He'll likely also share the time with Paulo Orlando.
Description: Royals outfielder Alex Rios has been diagnosed with a non-displaced fracture of the fifth metacarpal of his left hand.
Insight: Rios was hit on the left hand Monday night and left the game. He's off to a fast start after a disappointing season in Texas. This is going to put his comeback on hold. Jarrod Dyson and Paulo Orlando should ba a platoon in Rios' absence.
Description: Royals starter Edinson Volquez did his job in his team debut.
Insight: He needed just 95 pitches to go eight innings. Volquez allowed only one run on four hits and one walk, while striking out five. He left the game with a 4-1 lead, and could make for a low-risk, high-reward type of option this season.
Description: Royals right fielder Alex Gordon will sit on Thursday afternoon.
Insight: Royals manager Ned Yost had said that Gordon would sit in some day games after a night game and this is proof. Replacement Paulo Orlando will add speed for the Royals lineup. He batted .301 with 34 steals at Triple-A Omaha last season.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar is an ugly 1-for-18 (.056) with six strikeouts versus White Sox left-hander John Danks.
Insight: Escobar pit together a nice 2014 season, batting .285 with 74 runs scored and 31 steals as he played in all 162 games. He's started the season strong with five hits in nine at-bats, but this is an unfavorable matchup.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez is 10-for-30 with six extra-base hits and six RBI in his career versus White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana.
Insight: Two of those extra-base hits were home runs for Perez. The Royals catcher hit a career-low .260 last season, but he have a career-high 17 home runs. Look for the catcher to hit for a better average with fewer homers this season.
Description: Royals outfielder Alex Rios had three hits in his Kansas City regular season debut on Monday.
Insight: Rios had two singles and then capped off the day with a three-run homer in the seventh. He was 3-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored in his first game at Kauffman Stadium as a member of the Royals.
Description: Royals outfielder Alex Rios will miss the next few days due to a jammed thumb.
Insight: Rios is a solid fantasy option who could put up 20-20 type numbers though his home run total dropped significantly last season. His average season over the last five years is .275 with 16 HR, 71 RBI, 74 runs and 25 steals.
Description: The Royals have not yet decided what roll to give young pitcher Brandon Finnegan.
Insight: As a 21-year-old, Finnegan stormed onto the scene, pitching some important relief innings in the Wild Card Game versus the Athletics and then in other key spots on the way to Game 7 of the World Series. At first, Kansas City's plan was to have Finnegan return to the minor and begin training to become a starter, but apparently there is now a chance the organization keeps him a relief pitcher. For now, Finnegan is not fantasy relevant in redraft leagues, but he is worth watching.
Description: Royals outfielder Alex Gordon (right wrist surgery) has been cleared to threw and take 15 swings Tuesday.
Insight: Gordon underwent extensor retinaculum repair in january He's a four-time Gold Glove winner who batted .266 with 19 HR, -74 RBI, 87 runs and stole 12 bases. He's capable of more and this wrist injury, which may have happened back in July, could have been the culprit. He could be ready for Opening Day.
Description: First baseman Eric Hosmer and the Royals agreed to a two-year, $13.9 million contract according to MLB.com.
Insight: The two sides avoided arbitration with this deal. Hosmer underachieved in the 2014 regular season, hitting .270 with nine home runs and 58 RBI in 503 at-bats, but he played very well in the playoffs. Hopefully, he can carry that streak into 2015.
Description: Royals outfielder Alex Gordon had right wrist surgery, but is expected to be ready for the regular season, according to Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Gordon underwent extensor retinaculum repair. He's a four-time Gold Glove winner who batted .266 with 19 HR, -74 RBI, 87 runs and stole 12 bases. He's capable of more and this wrist injury, which may have happened back in July, could be the culprit.
Description: The Royals have declined the 2015 option on 1B/DH Billy Butler.
Insight: Butler would like to return to Kansas City, but will be seeking a multi-year deal as a free agent. The Royals preferred to pay the $1 million buyout, as opposed to picking up a $12.5 option. Butler hit .266 in 2014, with nine homers and 66 RBI.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar was 2-for-5 with a run and RBI in Game 6 against the Giants.
Insight: Escobar beat out an infield single in the second inning to load the bases. He hit a ground ball to Brandon Belt at first base, but Belt looked the runner back to third base too long and Escobar beat Belt to first. After another hit, Giants starter Jake Peavy was chased from the game. Escobar's other hit was an RBI-double in the fifth.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura pitched seven shutout innings in Game 6 of the World Series to help Kansas City force Game 7.
Insight: Ventura seemed extra focus pitching in memory of his late-friend, Oscar Tavares. Ventura wasn't completely sharp as he did walk five batters, but he allowed just three hits. A seven-run second inning certainly helped as well.Game 7 is Wednesday.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas will bat eighth in Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday.
Insight: It is a slight change as Moustakas batted ninth in most all previous playoff lineups that included the designated hitter. Billy Butler and Nori Aoki will return to their usual spots in the lineup and Omar Infante will bat ninth.
Description: Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki and Billy Butler will return to the starting lineup for Game 6 of the World Series on Tuesday.
Insight: Aoki and Butler did not start in Games 3, 4, and 5 which were in San Francisco. Manager Ned Yost wanted a faster outfielder with the biggest area to cover in AT&T Park and played Jarrod Dyson instead of Aoki. Butler sat without the designated hitter in the National League ballpark.
Description: Royals starter James Shields will look to rebound from a poor Game 1 outing.
Insight: He lasted only three innings in Game 1, and will need to pitch like an ace if Kansas City wants to return home with a lead in the series. Shields will be opposed by Giants go-to guy Madison Bumgarner, so he will need to bring his A-game.
Description: Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki should continue to be out of the lineup, Sunday night against the Giants.
Insight: He has the most experience against San Francisco starter Madison Bumgarner, but is 0-for-13 lifetime against him. Jarrod Dyson will most likely be back in the lineup, after going 1-for-3 with a walk in Game 4.
Description: Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson is starting in center field and batting eighth, again, in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday.
Insight: Ned Yost is sticking with the same lineup that won Game 3 in San Francisco on Friday. We would too. The added defense paid huge dividends, and Alex Gordon came through with a huge hit in the No. 2 spot.
Description: Royals second baseman Omar Infante is 7-for-11 in his career against Giants Game 4 starter Ryan Vogelsong.
Insight: Norichika Aoki and Josh Willingham are the only other Royals with at-bats against Vogelsong and neither were in the starting lineup for Game 3. Infante also has two stolen bases with Vogelsong on the mound.
Description: Royals 21-year-old Brandon Finnegan struck out both hitters he faced in the seventh to keep the Giants off the scoreboard.
Insight: Kansas City was clinging to a one-run lead when Ned Yost elected to pull Kelvin Herrera for the lefty Finnegan against two left-handed hitters for the Giants. Finnegan rewarded his manager with two strikeouts. The Royals won, 3-2.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs in Game 3 of the World Series Friday.
Insight: Escobar led off the game with a double on the first pitch. He scored on Eric Hosmer's grounder. Then in the sixth, he had a one-out single and scored on Alex Gordon's double. Escobar was the only player with either team with two hits in Game 3. Kansas City won, 3-2, and leads the series, 2-1.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched five-plus innings and allowed two runs on four hits in the Game 3 victory over the Giants in the World Series Friday night.
Insight: Guthrie only threw 77 pitches, but Ned Yost went to his bullpen when his starter allowed the first two hitters to reach base in the sixth. Two runs scored in the inning, but Kelvin Herrera did not permit the tying run to score, and Kansas City won, 3-2.
Description: Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson is starting in center field and batting eighth in Game 3 of the World Series on Friday.
Insight: In the big AT&T Park, Royals manager Ned Yost went with his best defensive lineup. Lorenzo Cain moves to right field, and Nori Aoki is on the bench. Alex Gordon will bat second, and Mike Moustakas will hit fifth.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura heads into Game 2 pitching somewhat inconsistently during the postseason.
Insight: He has pitched in three games during the 2014 Playoffs, and Kansas City has won each game Venura has thrown in. However, during his two starts, Ventura has had one good outing, and one subpar outing. During the ALDS he went seven strong innings, allowing only one run on five hits and one walk, while striking out five. Ventura's start in Game 2 of the ALCS was not as good, as he went 5 2/3 innings, giving up four runs on five hits and three walks, while striking out three. Overall he is 0-0 with a 4.85 ERA, over 13.0 innings of work.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar could be line for a big Game 2 against Giants starter Jake Peavy.
Insight: He is 9-for-22 (.409 BA) lifetime against Peavy, with two homers, one triple, and eight RBI. Escobar has also stolen two bases against San Francisco's Game 2 starter. If you are still doing daily fantasy baseball, Escobar is a great option on Wednesday night.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is a career .357 hitter (10-for-28) against San Francisco's Game 2 starter, Jake Peavy.
Insight: Three of those hits are extra-base hits, including one home run. Gordon also has five RBI against Peavy during his career, and the Royals could use all the help they can get after getting completely dominated in Game 1 of the Fall Classic.
Description: Royals 1B/DH Billy Butler has great career-numbers against Giants pitcher Jake Jeavy.
Insight: He is a lifetime .424 hitter (14-for-33) against Peavy, with three home runs and eight RBI. If Kansas City wants to even the series, Butler may be the guy to help kickstart them in Game 2, on Wednesday night.
Description: Royals starter James Shields lasted only three innings of Game 1 of the World Series.
Insight: He gave up three runs right away in the first inning, and just could not get ahead of hitters. Shields allowed five runs, on seven hits and one walk, and had only one strikeout. He will start a potential Game 5.
Description: Royals starter James Shields will start Game 1 of the World Series.
Insight: Manager Ned Yost made the announcement on Saturday, and it should come as no surprise. Yordano Ventura will get the nod in Game 2, and will likely be followed by Jason Vargas and Jeremy Guthrie.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland selaed the deal for Kansas City in Game 4 of the ALCS.
Insight: He saved all four games of the series, and has six saves throughout the entire postseason. Kansas City's biggest strength is their bullpen, and they head into the World Series, yet to lose a game in the playoffs.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer is batting clean up in Game 4 of the ALCS against the Orioles on Wednesday.
Insight: With the Royals on the verge of its first World Series trip in nearly 30 years, manager Ned Yost is not changing a thing. He is sticking with the exact same lineup that has won the first seven playoff games this postseason.
Description: In the Royals lineup, catcher Salvador Perez has had the most success against Orioles pitcher Miguel Gonzalez.
Insight: No one on the Royals has more than 10 at-bats against Gonzalez in their career, but in a small sample size, Perez is 4-for-9 with a home run. Outfielder Norichika Aoki is 1-for-3 versus Gonzalez, however, everyone else that has faced him is hitting below .200.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland made quick work of the Orioles in the top of the ninth in Game 3 of the ALCS for his third save of the playoffs.
Insight: It took Holland just six pitches to put the Orioles down in order. It was even more impressive given the fact Holland faced Adam Jones, Nelson Cruz and Steve Pierce. The perfect ninth just put a exclamation point on a superb performance from the Royals pitching staff. Kansas City retired the last 17 batters of the game and did not allow a hit after the third inning.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched five strong innings, allowing one run on three hits in the Game 3 victory over the Orioles.
Insight: Two of the three hits Guthrie allowed came in the second, and Baltimore scored on J.J. Hardy's double. Nick Markakis led off the third with a single and that was the final Orioles hit of the game. Kansas City is one win away from its first World Series appearance in three decades.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland allowed the tying run to reach base in the 10th, but Holland did eventually close the door on the Orioles in Game 1 of the ALCS.
Insight: Baltimore did all their damage with two outs. Ryan Flaherty hit a single, Jimmy Paredes walked and then Delmon Young singled to score Flaherty from second. Holland then retired Nick Markakis on a ground out to end the game.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer does not have a hit in his career against Orioles starter Bud Norris.
Insight: Hosmer has just five at-bats against Norris, but has yet to reach base against him. It will be tough taking him out of any playoff fantasy lineups, however, as he has been one of the best Royals hitters this postseason.
Description: Royals starter James "Big Game" Shields is not really living up to his name this postseason.
Insight: This is Shields' third outing for the Royals this playoffs and for the second time he failed to go past the fifth inning. He gave up four runs on 10 hits and walked a batter against Baltimore on Friday. Shields, however, is 1-0 in those three starts and Kansas City has won all three games.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas hit a home run in his second consecutive postseason game to help lift the Royals past the Orioles, 8-6, in extra innings of Game 1 in the ALCS on Friday.
Insight: Left fielder Alex Gordon smashed a solo home run to give Kansas City a one-run advantage in the 10th, and Moustakas added two insurance runs on his home run three at-bats later. Moustakas' homer proved to be the game-winner as Baltimore did rally to score a run in the bottom of the inning. After finishing dead last with 95 home runs during the regular season, Kansas City leads the playoffs with seven bombs.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon went 3-for-4 with a solo home run in the 10th inning to lift Kansas City over Baltimore, 8-6, in Game 1 of the ALCS on Friday.
Insight: Gordon's home run broke a 5-5 tie in the 10th, but the Orioles came back to score in the bottom of the inning, so it was actually Mike Moustakas' two-run blast three at-bats after Gordon's solo shot that won the game. Gordon also had a bases-clearing double in the third on a broke-bat flair down the right field line. He is batting .316 with eight RBI in five postseason games.
Description: Royals second baseman Omar Infante may need right shoulder surgery after the season.
Insight: This shouldn't at all affect his status for the playoffs. Infante has been playing the whole season with soreness in his shoulder. The pain got much worse after the All-Star break. Infante will determine after the postseason whether or not he will need the surgery.
Description: Royals relief pitcher Kelvin Herrera (forearm) is expected to be available out of the bullpen for Game 3 of the ALDS against the Angels on Sunday according to the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Herrera has a slight flexor strain in his right forearm that he suffered in Game 1 of the ALDS. He did not pitch in the 11 innings of Game 2, but the Royals appear willing to pitch Herrera on Game 3.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer may have a tougher time at the plate on Sunday than he has so far in the ALDS against the Angels.
Insight: Hosmer went 3-for-4 with the go-ahead home run in the 11th inning as the Royals took a 2-0 series lead on Friday. However, against Angels Game 3 starter C.J. Wilson, Hosmer is 2-for-11 in his career.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura redeemed himself on Friday night.
Insight: After giving up a three-run homer to Brandon Moss on Tuesday, Ventura came out and pitched a gem. He went seven innings of one-run ball, allowing five hits and one walk, while striking out five. Ventura has some nasty stuff, and it was on display Friday against the Angels.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer played the role of hero in Friday night's win over Los Angeles.
Insight: He hit the go-ahead two-run homer in the 11th inning, with one out. Hosmer finished the night going 3-for-4 with a walk and two runs scored. Kansas City takes a 2-0 series lead back home, to try and close it out on Sunday.
Description: Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain was 2-for-6 with two RBI, two runs and a stolen base against the Athletics on Tuesday in the American League Wild Card game.
Insight: Cain doubled to start the scoring in the third and singled to begin the rally in the eighth. In both frames, he came around to score. Cain also had the second of five Kansas City steals in the eighth and ninth innings. The Royals will begin their series against the Angels on Thursday.
Description: Royals 1B/DH Billy Butler went 2-for-4 with two RBI in the American League Wild Card game against the Athletics on Tuesday.
Insight: Butler singled in the bottom of the first to drive in a run and then singled in the eighth to help Kansas City rally to close the deficit and eventually tie the game the next inning. The Royals will play the Angels in the ALDS starting on Friday.
Description: Royals starter James Shields allowed four runs over five plus innings in the Royals' 9-8 thrilling victory over the Athletics in the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday.
Insight: Shields tossed up a two-run bomb to Brandon Moss four batters into the game, but he settled down nicely to have a couple 1-2-3 innings. He started the sixth, but manager Ned Yost took him out after Shields allowed a single and walk to start the inning. Relief starting pitcher Yordano Ventura then gave up another home run to Moss and officially closed the book on Shields. Kansas City rallied in the eighth, ninth and 12th to win, 9-8. Shields expects to start Game 3 of the ALDS against the Angels on Sunday.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez hit a walk off single in the bottom of the 12th to finish off the Athletics and cap off a dramatic Kansas City comeback to defeat Oakland, 9-8, in the American League Wild Card game on Tuesday.
Insight: Perez was 0-for-5 before the single down the third baseline that scored Christian Colon with two outs. Perez had a chance to drive in the tying run from third base in the eighth with one out and failed to deliever but came through in the 12th. Kansas City advances to face the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the ALDS.
Description: Don't be surprised if IF Jayson Nix finds his way into the starting lineup against Oakland left-hander Jon Lester.
Insight: The utility infielder has done nothing all season, batting just 120 between Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and the Royals, but he's a career .308 hitter (8-for-26) with three home runs in their matchups.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura pitched seven shutout innings, allowed four hits, struck out six and walked four as Kansas City beat Cleveland, 7-1, on Tuesday.
Insight: Ventura has had trouble with his control all season as he has not pitched a start without a walk since July 20, but other than that, his season has been solid. The 23-year-old is 14-10 with a 3.07 ERA in 179 innings this year. He is also 5-1 with a 1.62 ERA over his last six starts.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon went 2-for-4 with two RBI and scored two runs as the Royals defeated the Indians, 7-1, on Tuesday.
Insight: Gordon has been struggling a bit lately with just one hit over his last 19 at-bats, so it was nice to see him break out. Overall, Gordon has really slumped in September, hitting just .149/.278/.239 in the month.
Description: Royals pitcher Danny Duffy pitched six shutout innings, allowed six hits, struck out five and walked two to defeat the Indians, 2-0.
Insight: It was Duffy's first start since his one pitch outing against the Yankees on Sept. 6. His return is just in time as Kansas City makes its final push at the wild card and division title. Duffy is 9-11 with a 2.32 ERA in 147 1/3 innings this year.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland locks down 43rd save of season.
Insight: The entire bullpen came up huge for Kansas City, as they went 3 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball. Holland sealed the deal with a perfect ninth and two strikeouts along the way. He is an elite option at the closer position.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie is good enough to earn 12th victory.
Insight: He went 5 1/3 innings allowing two runs (one earned), while striking out two. Guthrie is now 12-11 with a 4.28 ERA, but more importantly kept the Royals alive in their fight for a division title.
Description: Royals starter James Shields took a tough loss Saturday afternoon against Detroit.
Insight: He pitched extremely well, going 6 2/3 innings, allowing six hits, three runs, while striking out six. Unfortunately, Shields was matched up against Max Scherzer, who was slightly better. He heads into his next start with a 14-8 record and a 3.18 ERA.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is a .389 career hitter (14-for-36) with three home runs against Detroit ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: Not many players can say they own a 1.261 OPS versus last year's Cy Young Award winner. Gordon's numbers are down from his 2011-12 days, but he's still a productive outfielder at .268, 19 HR, 70 RBI, 83 runs scored and a favorable matchup.
Description: Royals pitcher Danny Duffy (shoulder) felt no pain during a light bullpen session according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Duffy remains hopefully to start on Tuesday against the White Sox. In order for that to happen, doctors still need to clear him. Duffy left his last start with shoulder discomfort after just one pitch.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon went 2-for-4 with a RBI-double and scored twice as the Royals beat the Red Sox, 7-1, on Saturday.
Insight: Gordon broke out of his slump as the left fielder came into the game hitless in his last 20 at-bats. He still was getting on base during that stretch though with six walks. Gordon is batting .269 with 19 home runs and 67 RBI this year.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie pitched eight innings and gave up one unearned run on three hits to defeat the Red Sox on Saturday, 7-1.
Insight: It was a nice bounceback appearance for Guthrie, who gave up six earned runs on 10 hits in just two and 2/3 innings on Monday against Detroit. Guthrie has pitched eight innings and allowed one run twice in his last five starts. He is 11-11 with a 4.35 ERA and 116 strikeouts in 190 and 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon is a career .455 hitter (5-for-11) against Red Sox pitcher Clay Buchholz.
Insight: Gordon has also taken Buchholz deep once in his career. The left fielder is hitless in his last 13 at-bats so perhaps this matchup will get Gordon going again. He leads Kansas City with 19 home runs and 66 RBI.
Description: Royals starter James Shields pitched seven shutout innings against the Tigers on Wednesday as Kansas City moved back into sole possession of first place in the AL Central.
Insight: Shields limited Detriot to two hits and a walk while striking out eight. In hist last start, Shields pitched eight and 1/3 innings of shutout ball. Shields has allowed just one run in his last 22 and 1/3 innings. They call him "Big Game James" for a reason. "Big Game James" should remain in your fantasy lineup, no questions asked.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland (triceps) is questionable for Tuesday's game against Detroit.
Insight: He might still be held out as precaution, but manager Ned Yost said he would likely be available Tuesday The closer has 42 saves and supports a 1.60 ERA with 80 strikeouts and just 18 walks. If Holland is held out again, Wade Davis would be used in a potential save situation.
Description: An MRI taken on Sunday showed no structural damage to Royals starter Danny Duffy's left shoulder.
Insight: Duffy has rotator cuff inflammation according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star. He hopes to miss just one turn in the rotation. Duffy left Saturday's game against the Yankees after just one pitch. He is 8-11 with a 2.42 ERA, 1.08 WHIP in 141 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Royals 1B/DH Billy Butler has gone 34-for-79 (.430) with five doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI against Tigers starter Justin Verlander in his career.
Insight: Butler sees the ball very well against Verlander. His OPS against the former AL MVP is 1.064. Butler did not play against the Yankees on Saturday or Sunday but returns to the DH spot for this matchup on Monday.
Description: Royals starter Yordano Ventura pitched six shutout innings, allowing three hits, to defeat the Yankees, 2-0.
Insight: The only blemish was his four walks versus just two strikeouts, but Ventura impressed a day after the Royals lost starter Danny Duffy. Ventura has now won three straight starters to improve to 12-9. He also has a 3.25 ERA.
Description: Royals closer Greg Holland (triceps) said he is available to pitch on Sunday according to Andy McCullough of The Kansas City Star.
Insight: He might still be held out as precaution, but this is a very good sign for Holland owners. The closer has 42 saves and supports a 1.60 ERA with 80 strikeouts and just 18 walks. If Holland is held out, Wade Davis would be used in a potential save situation.
Description: Royals left-hander Danny Duffy is dealing with a sore throwing shoulder according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today.
Insight: Duffy left Saturday's game after one pitch due to shoulder discomfort. Duffy will undergo more tests, so more details should be released in the next 24 hours. Overall, not good for the AL Central leading Royals.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields pitched eight and 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing three hits, striking out six and walking none, as the Royals beat the Yankees, 1-0 on Friday.
Insight: Shields picked up his first win in three starts but in his last two starts, Shields has pitched 15 and 1/3 innings and allowed just one run on eight hits. Shields is heating up just when fantasy owners need him. He improved his record to 13-7 and has a 3.23 ERA this year.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (hand) has been activated from the disabled list.
Insight: This move makes it tough on management because Billy Butler has hit much better since he started playing in the field. The 24-year-old Hosmer is hitting .267 with just six homers, 46 RBI, 45 runs and a .689 OPS in 409 at-bats this season, not good enough for a fantasy first baseman.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez is a career .143 hitter (2-for-14) with one RBI against Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes.
Insight: Perez underwent a MRI on his knee last week and even though manager Ned Yost downplayed the injury, the all-star catcher is just 2-for-16 since the MRI. Wednesday is a tough matchup for Perez, so his struggles may continue.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon hit a walk-off two-run homer off Twins closer Glen Perkins Tuesday night.
Insight: The Royals hadn't scored all night until Gordon connected for his 16th homer of the season. He's hit seven balls out of the park in August and is a legitimate MVP candidate. He ranks second in the AL with 5.6 WAR.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer (hand) has been cleared to swing a bat, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Hosmer, who is out with a fractured hand, hopes to begin a rehab assignment in a week. The 24-year-old is hitting .267 with just six homers, 46 RBI, 45 runs and a .689 OPS in 409 at-bats this season, not good enough for a fantasy first baseman.
Description: Royals designated hitter Raul Ibanez will get a rare back-to-back opportunity Monday, facing one of his old teams, the New York Yankees.
Insight: The 42-year-old has seen just 33 at-bats since the All-Star break. He was 1-for-4 Sunday. Josh Willingham (1-for-6 with three strikeouts versus Michael Pineda) will sit for a second straight day.
Description: Royals designated hitter Raul Ibanez hasn't seen an at-bat in over a week, but could get a shot Sunday in a favorable matchup.
Insight: The 42-year-old has only seen 29 at-bats since the All-Star break, but he's a career .471 hitter with two home runs versus Rangers starter Scott Baker. If he crack's the starting lineup he might be worth a flier. Update: He's in the starting lineup.
Description: Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura has walked 18 batters over 38 innings in his last six starts, but he's gone 3-1 with a 2.84 ERA, a 1.24 WHIP and 37 Ks in that span.
Insight: Call it effectively wild. Ventura has been striking out batters at a good rate again after fanning just 35 in 59 innings from May 20 to July 20. He struck out 53 batters in 48 2/3 innings in his first eight starts, so the dropoff was unexpected for the young flamethrower. He's quietly gone 10-9 woth a 3.40 ERA, a 1.30 WHIP and 125 Ks. In a normal season, that would be good for Rookie of the Year, but Jose Abreu has had a rookie season for the ages.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez (knee) was to have an MRI Thursday.
Insight: He left Monday's game with knee soreness and is dealing with the issue again after catching a full game Tuesday. The Royals have Thursday off so Perez should be back in the lineup Friday at Texas unless tests reveal something.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez (knee) was scratched from Wednesday's lineup.
Insight: He left Monday's game with knee soreness and is dealing with the issue again after catching a full game Tuesday. The Royals have Thursday off so Perez should be back in the lineup Friday at Texas.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez left Monday's game with right knee discomfort, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: The Royals called it a "precautionary measure." We imagine all everyday catchers are dealing with knee soreness to a certain degree at this point in the season. A day or two off should do the trick.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez sat out Thursday afternoon's game against Oakland, but should be back behind the plate Friday versus Minnesota.
Insight: However, Perez is not a great play Friday as he's just 1-for-9 against Ricky Nolasco for his career. Perez has already set a career high for home runs (14), but his batting average is currently 24 points below his .291 career average.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez will sit out Thursday afternoon's game against Oakland.
Insight: Just a routine day off after a night game for the All-Star catcher. Perez has already set a career high for home runs although his batting average is currently 24 points below his .291 career average.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields has been everything the team hoped for both on and off the field when they traded for him in 2013.
Insight: Shields improved to 11-6 last Saturday with his first shutout as a member of the Royals. He's helped lead the suddenly hot Royals into first place with a 1.20 ERA and 0.866 WHIP over his last four starts.
Description: Royals starter Jason Vargas threw a three-hit shutout Wednesday against the Athletics.
Insight: Vargas is an extreme fly ball pitcher, but he's allowed just three home runs in his last 66 1/3 innings and they all came in one start on June 27. He's 9-5 with a 3.27 ERA, a 1.20 WHIP and a 96/29 K/BB in 143 1/3 innings this season following Wednesday's gem.
Description: Just acquired Kansas City left fielder Josh Willingham should probably not make his Royals debut against Jon Lester and the A's due to a poor matchup.
Insight: The 35-year-old will likely enter a DH platoon situation with Raul Ibanez, starting against lefties, but he's just 2-for-17 (.118) against Lester. Willingham is the DH for Tuesday's game against Oakland, batting sixth.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon is just a .136 hitter (3-for-22) with eight strikeouts against Oakland left-hander Jon Lester.
Insight: Gordon has been on fire of late, batting .391 with three homers and a 1.019 OPS over the past dozen games, but this matchup should be avoided. Hopefully this one poor matchup won't kill his momentum.
Description: The Twins have shipped left fielder Josh Willingham to the Royals for a minor leaguer.
Insight: The Royals entered Monday just a half game behind the Tigers for first place in the AL Central and they needed another bat with Eric Hosmer on the shelf due to a broken hand. The 35-year-old will likely enter a DH platoon with Raul Ibanez, starting against lefties.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon has homered in three of his last four games.
Insight: Gordon hit zero home runs from June 22 to Aug. 6, a span of 33 games in which he batted .233 with seven RBI, 12 runs and a .600 OPS. He's raised his OPS from .766 to .793 over the last four games.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez went 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Tuesday against Arizona.
Insight: Perez hit just .240 with just three extra-base hits in 96 at-bats last month, which sliced his OPS from .789 to .734. He's hitting .276 with 13 homers, 44 RBI, 45 runs and a .736 OPS after Tuesday's game.
Description: Royals starter Jason Vargas (emergency appendectomy) will start Saturday against Oakland, according to mlb.com.
Insight: Vargas, who last started on July 8, has gone 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 125 innings this season. He threw 60 pitches in a simulated game on Tuesday, so he's not likely to throw more than 80-85 pitches Saturday.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas raised his average to .200 for the first time all season Friday night.
Insight: He went 1-for-4 with a homer, his 13th of the season, against the Indians. Moustakas has batted .268 with nine homers and an OPS north of .830 in his last 36 games after a putrid start to the season.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields has recorded a 2.02 ERA, a 1.01 WHIP and a 28/3 K/BB in 26 2/3 innings over his last four starts.
Insight: Shields lasted seven innings and allowed one run on six hits while striking out seven in a no decision Wednesday at Chicago. He's back on track after getting roughed up in eight starts from May 24 to July 1 (5.66 ERA, 1.62 WHIP).
Description: Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura had a rough afternoon Sunday at Boston.
Insight: Ventura walked four, didn't strike out a batter and gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 1/3 innings. The right-hander has struck out just 29 batters in 50 1/3 innings (5.19 K/9) since his elbow scare on May 26. He had a 9.26 K/9 in his first 57 1/3 innings this season.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez (groin) is not in the lineup Sunday, but he expects to be back Monday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Perez is dealing with minor groin soreness. He had a terrific June (.347, 4 2B, 5 HR, 16 RBI) but has been subpar in the other three months. In July, Perez has batted .259 with one extra-base hit.
Description: Royals DH Billy Butler has been one of Tigers starter Justin Verlander's biggest nemeses.
Insight: Butler is 33-for-76 (.434) with five doubles and two homers lifetime against Verlander. The DH is still hitting just .272 with three home runs and a .678 OPS this season, but he's a must-start anytime he's facing Verlander.
Description: Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar has put together a solid season for fantasy owners, but should be avoided Saturday afternoon, as he's 1-for-23 (.043) versus Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello.
Insight: Escobar has already matched his 2013 stolen base total (22) and is batting .283 with 41 runs scored and 28 RBI. His .709 OPS won't kill you either.
Description: Royals outfielder Norichika Aoki was activated from the 15-day disabled list and will lead off and play right field Friday night against Detroit.
Insight: Aoki (.263, 0 HR, 14 RBI) has recovered from a groin strain, but likely won't try to steal bases at first. Unfortunately without that speed, he doesn't present much of a value to fantasy owners.
Description: Royals trainer Nick Kenney said the team is prepared to be without starter Jason Vargas (emergency appendectomy) for three to four weeks, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Vargas has gone 8-4 with a 3.31 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP in 125 innings this season. Bruce Chen will take his spot in the rotation, though newly signed veteran Joe Saunders may also be an option.
Description: Royals DH Billy Butler is a career .643 hitter (9-for-14) against Rays right-hander Jeremy Hellickson.
Insight: Butler still isn't hitting with any power (2 HR) and he's even struggling with his average over the past 10 games hitting just .195 over that span. Its a great matchup, but the struggling hitter may not be able to take advantage.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI Monday at Tampa Bay.
Insight: Gordon (.269, 9 HR, 44 RBI) had just three hits in his previous 40 at-bats (.075). His inclusion on the 2014 AL All-Star team is as much about his defense as it is his hitting. According to FanGraphs, he leads baseball with a UZR of 23.9.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields threw his best start since June 8 Monday at Tampa Bay.
Insight: Shields struck out 10, walked one and allowed just three hits over seven shutout innings to improve to 9-4. He had a 5.66 ERA, a 1.62 WHIP and 33 Ks in 49 1/3 innings over his previous eight starts.
Description: Kansas City starter James Shields has very good season-long numbers (8-4, 3.93 ERA), but he's struggled in his last three outings.
Insight: Shields has yielded four earned runs or more against Seattle, Minnesota and the Dodgers and faces a Tampa Bay team that has won 10 of its last 12 and averaged 5.08 runs per contest over that span.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI Friday at Cleveland.
Insight: Moustakas has nine home runs this season, but he's batting just .192 with a .624 OPS. The third baseman has the fly-ball rate of a power-hitter (47%), but he doesn't hit the ball in the air with authority enough and is only hitting .189 on balls in play.
Description: Royals starter Jason Vargas gave up six runs on nine hits over four innings against the Angels in his last start of June, but he rebounded with seven scoreless innings Wednesday against the Twins.
Insight: Vargas (8-3, 3.32 ERA, 1.22 WHIP) has allowed five-plus runs in four of his 18 starts this season but two or less in 13 of them.
Description: Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain has racked up seven hits in 12 at-bats against Twins starter Kevin Correia, good for a .583 average.
Insight: Cain has gone 0-for-9 his last two games after going 19-for-48 (.396) with five doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBI from June 16-29, but he's still hitting .309 with three homers, 35 RBI, seven steals and a .776 OPS this season.
Description: Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain's four hits Sunday brought his average up to .322.
Insight: Cain has gone 19-for-48 (.396) with five doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBI over his last 12 games. He's benefited from a .392 BABIP, so look for his average to drop below .300 eventually.
Description: Royals center fielder Jarrod Dyson went 3-for-3 with two RBI and two steals Monday against the Dodgers.
Insight: Dyson (.305, 12 SB) has taken a starting job from Norichika Aoki and bumped Lorenzo Cain to right field. He has tremendous stolen base potential, having swiped 76 bags since 2012 despite getting just 610 at-bats in that span.
Description: Royals left-hander Danny Duffy has allowed five runs on 14 hits with a 23/6 K/BB in 25 2/3 innings this month.
Insight: Duffy (4-6, 2.80 ERA, 1.05 WHIP) allowed two runs on three hits in seven innings Thursday at Detroit. The 25-year-old former top-100 prospect is starting to live up to his potential after being derailed by Tommy John surgery in 2012.
Description: Royals left-hander Danny Duffy doesn't have a winning record this season (4-5), but he's pitching very well of late.
Insight: Duffy has posted a 1.45 ERA, 0.857 WHIP and 18 Ks in 18.2 IP in his last three starts, winning two of them. With the Royals on fire, winning 10 straight, Duffy is an excellent option on Thursday.
Description: Royals starter Jeremy Guthrie has lowered his ERA from 4.80 to 3.86 over his last seven starts.
Insight: Guthrie has struck out nine batters in two straight starts, winning both. He's posted a 2.85 ERA, a 1.18 WHIP and a 0.57 HR/9 in his last 47 1/3 innings after giving up 11 home runs and recording a 4.80 ERA in his first 50 2/3.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon went 2-for-5 with a double, a homer and two RBI Tuesday at Detroit.
Insight: He came in with excellent numbers against Max Scherzer and added to them in the second and fifth innings Tuesday. The Royals' offense has suddenly turned on the juice and has averaged 7.4 runs per game during a nine-game winning streak. Gordon has batted .350 with seven homers, 22 RBI and 22 runs over his last 28 games.
Description: Kansas City right fielder Norichika Aoki left Tuesday's game with groin discomfort.
Insight: Aoki went 1-for-2 with a run prior to exiting and was replaced in right field by Lorenzo Cain, who was supposed to be getting the night off. Aoki has a .261 average and zero homers this season and doesn't do enough in the run or steal categories to make up for it.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez is a carweer .381 (8-for-21) with two homers and a 1.143 OPS against Tigers ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: Perez (.281, 7 HR, 23 RBI) left in the seventh inning with leg cramps but not before extending his hitting streak to ten games. He should be okay for Tuesday's game and in all starting lineups as he's raised his average 21 points during his hot streak.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon is a career .387 hitter (12-for-31) with a pair of homers against Detroit ace Max Scherzer.
Insight: The Royals scored a season-high 11 runs on Monday and Gordon was right in the thick of things with a double and two singles. His .286 batting average is a noticeable improvement from last year when Gordon hit just .265.
Description: Kansas City left fielder Alex Gordon shredded the Tigers for three hits on Monday night.
Insight: The Royals scored a season-high 11 runs on Monday and Gordon was right in the thick of things with a double and two singles. His .286 batting average is a noticeable improvement from last year when Gordon hit just .265 over 633 at bats.
Description: Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain smashed three hits in Monday's win over the Tigers.
Insight: Tonight was Cain's sixth game of the season with at least three hits. He's been a pleasant surprise for the Royals, hitting .310 across 168 at bats. Cain would probably be owned in almost every league if he had a little more power (2 HR this season).
Description: Royals DH Billy Butler is a career .432 hitter (32-for-74) against Detroit right-hander Justin Verlander.
Insight: Butler still isn't hitting with any power, but he is batting .351 over his last two weeks (11 games). The combination of Butler and Salvador Perez could get it done against Verlander on Monday night.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas went 3-for-4 with a homer and two RBI Saturday at Chicago.
Insight: Moustakas has gone 7-for-18 with two homers, five RBI and five runs his last five games. We're going to need to see a lot more than that to recommend using the 25-year-old, who has been consistently terrible at the major league level.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer went 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Tuesday against the Indians.
Insight: Hosmer appears to be following the same path he took last season, when he hit .318 with 16 homers, 58 RBI and an .874 OPS in his last 98 games after batting .274 with one home run and 21 RBI through June 12. This season, he had one home run through June 6 but hit two in the past three games.
Description: Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez is not in Monday's starting lineup, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Just a routine day off. Perez (.271, 6 HR, 20 RBI) has batted .325 over the past two weeks to raise his average 12 points. He's still 25 points below his career average. Brett Hayes will make the start, but with an .086 batting average holds no fantasy value.
Description: Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer hit his second home run of the season Saturday against the Yankees.
Insight: There's still time for Hosmer (.259) to turn his season around. He was hitting .274 with one home run and 21 RBI on June 12 last year but hit .318 with 16 homers, 58 RBI and an .874 OPS in his last 98 games.
Description: Royals left-hander Bruce Chen (lower back tightness) made his first rehab appearance with Double-A Northwest Arkansas Tuesday and threw three innings. Source: Dick Kaegel, MLB.com.
Insight: The 36-year-old Chen hadn't pitched in six weeks, but threw 46 pitches (35 strikes) while allowing eight hits and two runs, both solo homers. He struck out three and didn't walk anyone. When Chen's rehab is complete, the Royals will have a difficult decsion to make regarding his role given the way Danny Duffy has been pitching of late.
Description: Royals second baseman Omar Infante is a career .462 hitter (6-for-13) against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.
Insight: Not many hitters enjoy prolonged success against Wainwright, but Infante has handled the powerful right-hander well in 13 career at bats, with five singles and a double against him. Infante has been average, at best, this season and has only one stolen base through 38 games but could be a smart start tonight.
Description: Royals left fielder Alex Gordon homered for the second straight game Tuesday against the Cardinals.
Insight: Gordon was hitting .250 with one home run and a .655 OPS on May 17, but he's been on an absolute tear ever since. In his last 16 games, he's gone 21-for-57 (.368) with five home runs, 17 RBI, 12 runs, 10 walks and two steals.
Description: Royals starter James Shields didn't have good command Tuesday against the Cardinals and ended up allowing seven runs (five earned) on nine hits with four walks in 5 1/3 innings.
Insight: Shields has allowed seven homers, walked six and given up 15 earned runs on 26 hits over 18 1/3 innings his last three starts. He's 6-3 with a 3.68 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP and will try to turn things around Sunday against the Yankees.
Description: Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas' minor-league exile didn't last long. Kansas City summoned him Sunday.
Insight: Danny Valencia went on the disabled list with a wrist injury. Moustakas hit .355 with a homer and a .960 OPS in eight games with Triple-A Omaha, but he'll return to a .152 average, four homers and a .543 OPS in the majors. He's yet to prove he's more than a Quadruple-A player.
Description: Kansas City center fielder Lorenzo Cain had three hits, including a homer, and four RBI Friday at Toronto, but is not in Saturday's starting lineup.
Insight: Cain is batting .339 after collecting 12 hits in his last 25 at-bats (.480). His average is boosted by a .413 BABIP, so enjoy it while it lasts. The team will use left-hand hitter Jarrod Dyson against the young right-hander, Aaron Brooks, who will make his first career start.
Description: Kansas City catcher Salvador Perez is not in Saturday afternoon's starting lineup.
Insight: The 24-year-old has been a relative disappointment this season, hitting 37 points below his career average (.296) and hasn't had a multi-hit game in a week. He has been dealing with a thumb injury which could be the reason. Brett Hayes (.067) gets the start but has no fantasy value.
Description: Royals rookie starter Yordano Ventura (elbow) played catch Friday and will throw a light bullpen session Saturday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Pitching coach Dave Eiland said Ventura "feels fine." If he gets through Saturday's session, he'll throw a full bullpen on Monday. He was diagnosed with a valgus stress overload following his last start, but he may have to miss only one start.
Description: Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar is just 1-for-12 (.083) against Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ.
Insight: Thursday Escobar knocked out his first three-hit game of the season. However, he's had a rough go of it lately batting .229 over the past dozen games and Friday isn't likely to be a productive day.
Description: Kansas City shortstop Alcides Escobar ripped three hits Thursday in a ten-inning win over the Blue Jays.
Insight: Tonight was Escobar's first three-hit game of the season. He's had a rough go of it lately (he was four for his last 23 coming into tonight's game) but perhaps Thursday will be the start of a turnaround for the 27-year-old.
Description: Royals rookie starter Yordano Ventura has a "valgus stress overload," according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports.
Insight: The syndrome is a condition in which the repetitive stresses of throwing lead to deterioration in the elbow joint. It could be bad news for Ventura's future, which would be a shame because the 22-year-old's stuff is so electric.
Description: Royals pitching prospect Kyle Zimmer won't play catch for 6-8 weeks due to a lat strain, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: He's Kansas City's top prospect but hasn't pitched at all in 2014 after recording a 4.32 ERA and a 140/36 K/BB in 108 2/3 innings in the minors last season. We don't expect to see the 2012 fifth-overall pick in the majors this season.
Description: Royals rookie starter Yordano Ventura's MRI showed no structural damage to the elbow, according to Ken Rosenthal.
Insight: Ventura exited in the third inning on Monday after allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3. He averages 96 mph with his fastball, but was throwing just 91 when facing his last batter of the night. He's expected to miss just one or two starts.
Description: Royals rookie starter Yordano Ventura will have an MRI on his elbow on Tuesday, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Ventura exited in the third inning on Monday after allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3. He averages 96 mph with his fastball but was throwing just 91 when facing his last batter of the night. The official reason the team gave for Ventura's exit is "lateral elbow discomfort."
Description: Royals rookie starter Yordano Ventura left Monday's start with a possible injury, according to Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star.
Insight: Ventura exited in the third inning with Kansas City's trainer after allowing five runs on seven hits and three walks in 2 2/3. He averages 96 mph with his fastball but was throwing just 91 when facing his last batter of the night.
Description: Royals infielder Danny Valencia missed Sunday's game against the LA Angels due to a sprained left hand.
Insight: Valencia, who has become the Royals everyday first baseman with the demotion of Mike Moustakas, could miss a couple of days, but at least there are no broken bones. He's batting .279 with a homer and seven RBI in 61 at-bats.
Description: Kansas City right fielder Norichika Aoki didn't start Sunday against the Angels, but did end up getting into the game as a pinch runner.
Insight: He dealing with a sore elbow, so the pinch-runner role doesn't necessarily mean he's coming back tomorrow. Lorenzo Cain gets most of the starts in right field for the Royals when Aoki is sidelined.
Description: Royals catcher Salvador Perez won't be in the lineup Friday against Los Angeles. SOURCE: Andy McCullough, Kansas City Star
Insight: Perez's hand is still bothering him. If the injury lingers for much longer, he could be placed on the disabled list. Brett Hayes, who remains hitless on the season (0-for-22), will grab the start behind the plate.