This afternoon, the Kansas City Royals take the field for one last time in 2021 as the team finishes its season at home against the Minnesota Twins.
Last night, the Twins blanked the Royals 4-0. Kansas City has avoided last place in the American League Central standings, a dishonor that goes to Minnesota regardless of the outcoming of today's game. With that said, getting a series win over a division rival would be a solid way to end the 2021 campaign for the Boys in Blue.
Here's how the Royals will line up in this afternoon's game.
Kansas City: RHP Jackson Kowar (0-5, 11.28 ERA)
Minnesota: LHP Charlie Barnes (0-3, 5.86 ERA)
Kansas City Royals Starting Lineup
- Whit Merrifield (R) - RF
- Nicky Lopez (L) - SS
- Salvador Perez (R) - DH
- Carlos Santana (S) - 1B
- Hunter Dozier (R) - LF
- Adalberto Mondesi (S) - 3B
- Michael A. Taylor (R) - CF
- Hanser Alberto (R) - 2B
- Cam Gallagher (R) - C
Can Perez break the Royals home run record?
Royals catcher Salvador Perez has already tied Jorge Soler's franchise record for the most home runs in a single season with 48, but it would be truly special if he owned sole possession of the record with a bump up to 49 or even 50 today. Perez is serving as the team's designated hitter, which is likely a good idea considering his bum ankle. He's currently the MLB leader in home runs and RBIs, which speaks to the amazing season he's had. With that said, Perez will surely be looking for pitches to hit out of the ballpark on Sunday.
Will Lopez finish the season batting .300?
After going hitless in three at-bats last night, Royals shortstop Nicky Lopez's batting average dipped below .300 and is now at .299. It's been an insane year for Lopez, who's emerged as a legitimate foundational piece for the Royals moving forward. He's not only getting on base a ton, but he's managed to maintain good plate discipline, become a base-stealing threat and is a Gold Glove-caliber defender. The cherry on top would be a .300 batting average on the year so if Lopez can have a good day on Sunday, that would push his average back above that mark. Outside of Perez, Lopez's day is probably the most noteworthy to watch.
First Pitch: 2:10 p.m. CST
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City
Radio: 610 Sports Radio