Spoiler Alert

The 2010 Royals as a team and more than a few of their individual efforts have been lackluster at times, but the season can still be salvaged. They have little to no chance of making the playoffs. However, they do have a chance of crushing a few hearts along the way. Misery loves company.

The Royals are playing several playoff hopefuls from here on out, including Texas (3 games), Chicago (3 games), Minnesota (6 games) and Tampa Bay (4 games). Sixteen games against playoff contending teams. Ten of these are going to be played at home while the six away games are at Minnesota and Chicago. If the Royals manage to win half of these games or more they could directly affect who will earn one of the four playoff spots in the American League.

Texas is currently 7.5 games up on the Angels. They have a new owner, who is also one of the best pitchers of all time. He has set this team up to win the division this year and barring a complete collapse, they will represent the A.L. West in this year’s playoffs. If the Royals sweep them and the Angels win three straight at the same time, it will narrow that lead down to just 1.5 games. Nevertheless, as it is looking right now, Cliff Lee and the rest of that starting rotation will not let that happen without a serious fight. The Royals could still make it interesting if they were to pull off an upset and force the Rangers to really hamper down on their late September series versus the Angels.

The Chicago White Sox probably do not want to play Kansas City again for a while, but they will not be so lucky. The Royals will land in Chicago and play this coming weekend in the Windy City. The Royals really put Chicago in a bind in trying to catch the Twins. Chicago will have a chance to gain ground this week before the Royals come into town but if the Royals win this series at US Cellular Field, then the Sox can by and large kiss their playoff and division title chances goodbye.

Minnesota has been a pain in the flesh for the Royals the past ten years, or longer if you can remember the likes of Kirby Puckett. If the Royals just play .500 ball in these six games, it might give Chicago a glimmer of hope, but if the Royals run the table against one of the hottest teams in the league and sweep them, they will give Chicago an opportunity to take back the division lead that they had previously held for most of the first half of the season.

The Tampa Bay Rays have been nipping at the Yankees’ heels and vice versa all season long. The Royals finish their season with four games at home against the Devil Rays who right now lead the wild card race. So even if they do not win their division it looks like they will be playing at least one playoff series in October.

If the Royals somehow to manage to win all of these games and these teams fail to capture their division until the last day of the season, those teams will look back at their schedule and see those “Ls” where they played the Kansas City Royals and say, “We overlooked them.” Many people will say winning sixteen games against playoff caliber teams is crazy or even impossible. However, this is baseball. Crazier things have happened.

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