The Red Sox are on the verge of clinching a postseason berth for the third straight season in a row, while the Royals are trying to prolong the champagne part for as long as possible.
Will McDonald of Royals Review joined us to answer a few questions about the Royals, as the Red Sox meet Kansas City for the last time in 2009.
NESN.com: Zack Greinke isn't going to win 20 games this season, but with an ERA just over two and a ridiculous K/BB ratio, he seems to be the favorite in many people's minds to be the Cy Young winner this season. Would that be the general feeling in Kansas City?
Will McDonald: Greinke's season has been a big deal in Kansas City and I think that it would be huge if he won the Cy Young. There are a number of reasons for this, including a general feeling amongst Royals fans that the Royals are overlooked and generally very poorly reported nationally. Greinke is a home-grown player who the fans have really embraced over the last few years given his quirky yet down-to-earth nature. Beyond all that, there is a growing realization that Greinke is having one of the best seasons by a pitcher this decade, so if he doesn't win the Cy Young, people are not going to be happy.
NESN.com: Aside from Greinke, who has been the Royals' second best player this season?
Will McDonald: Probably David DeJesus, who has been solid offensively and very good defensively. He's sort of the anti-Jason Bay in that regard. Joakim Soria remains amazing, but closers on bad teams are like Canadian beach houses: You never see enough of them.
NESN.com: Which players should the Royals target this offseason?
Will McDonald: The Royals have holes everywhere, although they seem to think they are close to contending. Releasing Jose Guillen and signing a right fielder who can field or hit (either works) would be a start. They need to swap out at least three of their horrible relievers for guys that are passable, and having a designated hitter that is merely a league average hitter would be good.
NESN.com: Any names that fans outside of Kansas City should remember for upcoming seasons?
Will McDonald: Just give Greinke his props and we'll be happy. The Royals have some (somewhat) highly-regarded young prospects, but they are still very young, and not likely to contribute before 2011, if not 2012. Billy Butler has had a quiet breakout season this year, and he's still young enough that he might very well hit superstar status soon.
NESN.com: Many picked Kansas City to make a run at the AL Central this season and possibly find a postseason berth for the first time in what seems like forever. What is the contributing factor to the Royals finding themselves in the basement with two weeks to play?
Will McDonald: Over the last two years, at least ten players that Dayton Moore thought were good baseball players were not and are not good baseball players.
NESN.com: What are the keys to the Royals winning the series against the Red Sox?
Will McDonald: This series actually sets up decently for the Royals. There's always a chance Wakefield will be extremely hittable in game one, and game two is a Greinke start, against Paul Byrd no less. In fact, the only really lopsided game, to me, looks like the finale, which features Buchholz against an obscure Royal named Dusty Hughes.
Thanks again to Will McDonald for sharing his insight on the Royals. Don't forget to check out his blog, Royals Review.
Stay tuned Friday for a series preview of the Yankees, as the rivalry resumes for one last time this regular season.