Field of Dreams Friday

Kansas City Royals @ Detroit Tigers

The Kansas City Royals might not catch the first-place Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, but they remain a postseason wildcard contender as we edge ever closer to the playoffs.

The Royals are looking for their third consecutive victory over the Tigers on Friday night at Comerica Park, despite the Tigers commanding lead in the AL central.

Kansas (77-69) has not been to the playoffs since winning the 1985 World Series, but it’s won 13 of 18 and is in the hunt for the wildcard.

They’ve shown their mettle by going 9-7 this season against Detroit (84-62), which it trails by seven games in the Central. The Royals have lost two straight at Comerica, but did take two of three from the Tigers at home last weekend.

They had four runs and eight hits in seven innings off Justin Verlander (12-11, 3.64 ERA) during a 4-3 win Saturday. The right-hander was 15-2 with a 2.73 ERA in 23 starts against Kansas City prior to this season, but he’s lost each of his last three starts versus the Royals with a 4.79 ERA.

Detroit has dropped all of Verlander’s five starts in the season series, though he pitched at least seven innings and gave up two or fewer runs in three of them.

Billy Butler went 2 for 11 as Kansas City took two of three from the Indians this week, but he’s 7 for 12 with four walks against Verlander in 2013.

The Royals’ Bruce Chen (7-2, 2.79) allowed a two-run homer to Jose Iglesias and four other hits in seven innings of a 5-2 win over Detroit on Sunday. He’s gone 2-0 with a 2.41 ERA in his last three overall starts.

In the hunt for a second straight Triple Crown, Miguel Cabrera hit a two-run homer off Chen in the home victory but went hitless against him Sunday.

Cabrera is 3 for his last 23 with no extra-base hits and three RBIs.

The Tigers won their second in a row Wednesday, 1-0 over the Chicago White Sox to conclude a 4-5 road trip.

Considering their recent good form against the Tigers, we’re backing the Royals to bag a fourth consecutive victory over Detroit and push for that wildcard at +155.

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