Beginning on Memorial Day, the St. Louis Cardinals-Kansas City Royals rivalry will be rekindled in the 2013 season with a four-game home-and-home series. The first two games of the series will be played in Kansas City on Monday and Tuesdaywhile the final two games of the series will be played down the road in St. Louis. This unique four-game set is similar to the Battle of the Beltway, which will feature the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals playing a home-and-home.
Entering the weekend, the St. Louis Cardinals had the best record in Major League Baseball and led the N.L. Central. Their pitching staff, which has allowed the fewest runs in the majors, and a potent offense, which has scored the third most runs in the National League, primarily drives this. One of the most pleasant surprises for the Cards has been the performance of Shelby Miller who boasts a 5-3 record with a 1.74 ERA. Entering this year, Miller had only started one game and pitched thirteen career innings, yet has been able to vex opposing hitters so far in 2013.
In the other dugout, the Kansas City Royals will look to continue on their surprising start and shorten the gap in the A.L. Central behind the division-leading Cleveland Indians. Despite dropping four of the last five series, the Royals remain in third place in the division. For the most part the team has struggled to score runs, but has been led by a strong pitching staff. Alex Gordon has been one of the sole bright spots on offense and leads the team in average, home runs, RBI’s, and runs. Pitchers Jeremy Guthrie, Ervin Santana, and James Shields headline a staff, which has allowed the second-fewest runs in the American League. Despite boasting a 2-5 record, Shields has a minuscule .96 WHIP to go along with a 2.47 ERA on the year and has been primarily hindered by a lack of run support.
The first two games of the series in Kansas City currently carry an average price well above the average price for Royals tickets this year ($54). Monday’s Memorial Day afternoon start has tickets going for an average of $80 with a get-in price of $16. This $80 average is 48% above the home season average. Game two’s tickets are currently being sold at an average of $70 with the least expensive tickets costing $15. The prices for these two games are 14% less than the games played in Kansas City between these two teams last year, but are 34% more expensive than 2010, and 38% more expensive than in 2011.
The final two games of the series in St. Louis are going for $42 and $45 respectively. This season, the average price for Cardinals tickets is $68 and the prices for these two games between the teams will be 38% and 34% below that average. Tickets are still readily available for the two games and can be acquired for a low price of $6 for Wednesday and $8 for Thursday. These prices reflect a continued downward trend for tickets in St. Louis between the Cardinals and Royals as the prices are 24% less expensive than 2011 and 16% less expensive from just one year ago.
The battle for the Midwest will feature two teams heading in two different directions. The Cardinals will be seeking to stretch out their divisional lead and improve upon the best record in Major League Baseball while the Royals will be trying to turn around a recent slide which put a damper upon one of the most surprising starts in the majors.