The Royals got hot late last season, but it was too little too late for Kansas City in the American League. They were predicted to threaten the Tigers in the AL Central, which they did all season long. They held first place in the month of August or later for the first time since 2003, but came up short in the division race. They fell to the Tigers by just 1 game, despite winning their season finale on Sunday. The Tigers clinched with a shutout win over the Twins Sunday afternoon.
The Royals finished the season with 89 wins, the most victories for the franchise since 1989. The playoff-clinching win came on Friday night in Chicago against the White Sox. They took the top Wild Card Spot, and will host the A's Tuesday night at 8:07 PM. James Shields is set to take the mound Tuesday in the one-game playoff. KC acquired Shields from Tampa Bay for big games like this. They gave up top prospect Wil Myers in the deal, but are hoping to make it all worth it this season. Jon Lester will oppose Shields for the A's, with the winner moving on to face the Angels in the ALDS. After a near 3-decade playoff absence, the Royals look to make the most of this playoff experience, and it all begins in the hand of "Big Game" James Shields.