The Royals led the American League with a 95-67 season record. The Astros just squeaked into the playoffs with an 86-76 record--lowest among playoff qualifiers. Run differential puts these two teams on more even footing though. The Astros +111 actually bests the Royals +83.
The Astros were forced to use their best pitcher--Dallas Keuchel--in the wild card play-in game. Today they will send Collin McHugh--3.89 ERA, 3.58 FIP--to the mound. The Royals will counter with Yordano Ventura--4.08 ERA, 3.57 FIP. It's interesting their FIP are nearly identical.
|HOUSTON ASTROS||KANSAS CITY ROYALS|
|Jose Altuve - 2B||Alcides Escobar - SS|
|George Springer - RF||Ben Zobrist - 2B|
|Carlos Correa - SS||Lorenzo Cain - CF|
|Colby Rasmus - LF||Eric Hosmer - 1B|
|Evan Gattis - DH||Kendrys Morales - DH|
|Luis Valbuena - 3B||Mike Moustakas - 3B|
|Chris Carter - 1B||Salvador Perez - C|
|Jason Castro - C||Alex Gordon - LF|
|Jake Marisnick - CF||Alex Rios - RF|
|Collin McHugh - RHP||Yordano Ventura - RHP|