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2021 KC Royals: Home Opener Series Preview

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The 2021 KC Royals are set to take on the Texas Rangers to start the 2021 campaign. This a big series for both clubs as they look to start the season on a high note. Kansas City is looking to improve off of a 26-34 season, finishing fourth in the AL Central in 2020. As for the Texas Rangers, they are putting 2020 behind them, finishing dead last in the American League with a 22-38 record.

2021 KC Royals: Pitching Matchups

Game 1: April 1st 4:10 ET: RHP Brad Keller v. RHP Kyle Gibson

After starting 2020 on the COVID-19 list, Brad Keller came back and ended 2020 with a solid season. Keller finished with a 5-3 record, with an ERA of 2.47. Keller will make his second Opening Day start in his career. On Opening Day in 2019, he pitched seven scoreless innings, struck out five, allowed two hits, and one walk in a win against the Chicago White Sox.

As for the Texas Rangers, Kyle Gibson will take the mound. In his first season with Texas, Gibson struggled to say the least. He finished with a 2-6 record with a 5.35 ERA. Gibson is very familiar with the Kansas City Royals, as he pitched seven years for the Minnesota Twins. In his career, Gibson has a 9-5 record and a 3.67 ERA against the Royals,

Game 2: April 3rd 2:10pm ET: LHP Mike Minor v. RHP Kohei Arihara

Mike Minor is back with KC after spending the past few seasons with the Texas Rangers and the Oakland Athletics. Minor is coming off his worst season since his rookie year in 2010. Minor ended 2020 with a 1-6 record, and a 5.56 ERA. As a member of the rotation for the 2021 KC Royals, Minor is the veteran presence for one of the youngest pitching staff in all of MLB.

Kohei Arihara is making his MLB debut on Saturday. Arihara played in the Japanese Baseball League (NPB) and was a two-time All-Star and led the league in wins in 2019.

Game 3: April 4th 2:10pm ET: RHP Brady Singer v. RHP Jordan Lyles

Brady Singer made his MLB debut in 2020 and had some up-and-down moments. With a 4-5 record and an ERA of 4.06, Singer is looking to improve off a decent rookie season. In just 12 starts, Singer proved he belongs with the 2021 KC Royals.

Projected Lineups

The Royals added to their lineup with Carlos Santana and Michael A. Taylor during the offseason. Also, the club acquired Andrew Benintendi in a trade with the Boston Red Sox. Add in sluggers such as Jorge Soler, Hunter Dozier, and Salvador Perez, this lineup could really surprise some people. Despite the additions, the Royals are missing their everyday shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, as he was placed on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday.

  • 2B Whit Merrifield
  • LF Andrew Benintendi
  • 1B Carlos Santana
  • C Salvador Perez
  • DH Jorge Soler
  • 3B Hunter Dozier
  • RF Kyle Isbel
  • CF Michael A. Taylor
  • SS Nicky Lopez
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08EC3mpwK2U

The Texas Rangers lineup will look a bit different this year. With Khris Davis and Willie Calhoun both headed to the injured list to start the season, the Rangers are going to have to mix and match in the DH role. Despite this, they still have plenty of big bats in the lineup featuring Joey Gallo.

Series Prediction

Both teams are looking to start on the right foot in 2021 after devasting 2020 seasons. Kansas City looks like the better team on paper, and that lineup looks a lot deeper compared to past Kansas City Royals teams. The lineup will give the Royals a chance to take two of three from Texas to start the season, however, the big issue will be the KC pitching depth.

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Nick Whyman is an editor at Overtime Heroics and has been writing for OTH since January of 2020. Whyman is also a Senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln majoring in Broadcasting.