New York Yankees @ Kansas City Royals: Lineups, Preview, Predictions
Joe Nicholson, USATSI

After failing to complete the sweep against Baltimore, the Yankees head to Kansas City to try to gain some ground in the standings.

  • New York Yankees: (67-62)
  • Kansas City Royals: (67-62)
  • American League, 8:15 PM ET, YES Network
  • Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO

Following a game on Sunday, in which the New York Yankees lost to the Orioles, failing to complete the three-game sweep, they go into Kansas City looking to gain some ground.

The Yankees and Royals are both 3.5 games back of the second AL Wild Card spot, so this series could be crucial to each team’s playoff hopes.

The Bronx Bombers will send right-handed pitcher Michael Pineda to the mound, hoping to rebound from a poor start on Monday against the Mariners giving up five runs.

CC Sabathia was originally slated to start on Monday but was switched with Michael Pineda, due to Baltimore’s struggles against left-handed pitchers and Kansas City’s struggles against right-handed pitchers.

In one game started against the Royals this season, Pineda gave up six earned runs. Something for which he’ll look to improve upon.

Opposing Pineda will be right-handed pitcher Dillon Gee, who is also coming off a decent outing giving up three earned runs in five and a half innings.

In one outing against the Bombers in 2016, Gee went 5.1 innings giving up only one earned run. Gee will be aiming to replicate this strong outing.

Player To Watch: Starlin Castro

In his last 11 games, Castro is batting .354 with four home runs and has been absolutely impossible to get out once the calendar turned its page to August.

Not to mention, Castro is a career .417 hitter while playing at Kauffman Stadium. It may be safe to say that Gee should be careful while pitching to Starlin.

This Day In Yankees History:

In 1998, Yankees shortstop sets a record for the most home runs by a Yankee shortstop in a single season. Jeter his 17th home run of the season to right field off Bob Wells in the Yanks 11-6 victory over Seattle in the Bronx.

Pineda Is The Key:

The Yankees need a strong outing from Michael Pineda on Monday night with the stakes oh so high. With a win, the Yankees can reach closer to playoff contention, but with a loss, their chances become even dimmer.

With a Kansas City team that is having a hard time losing, Pineda will be the key piece to a Yankee victory if he can keep a low number of runs on the KC scoreboard.

Bold Prediction:

Starlin Castro will launch a three-run home run with a 3-for-4 game leading the Yankees to a victory in the opening game of a three-game set.

NEXT: Week 22 MLB Power Rankings

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