The American League won the MLB All-Star game with Eric Hosmer and Salvador Perez doing the heavy lifting, splitting the four RBIs in the 4-2 win. Now, the struggling Kansas City Royals need this to turn into something positive regarding their sloppy title defense campaign.
Hosmer hit a home run, followed by Perez hitting a two-run homer, before another Hosmer RBI (this time a single) that gave the AL a four-run stretch, providing them with the win. Not that surprising for probably the two best players on the Royals this season. Hosmer is batting .299 with a career best .831 OPS, hitting 13 home runs for 49 RBIs. Perez is batting .283 with a .818 OPS, getting 14 home runs and 41 RBIs. They’re not the problem for the Royals.
But if All-Star games determine the home field advantage for the World Series three months from now, they give struggling teams a moral boost. The Royals are only 45-43, third in the AL Central, struggling to keep up with the Detroit Tigers and Cleveland Indians. They are 4.5 games behind in the Wild Card race too, currently owned by the AL East teams, Boston & Baltimore.
Expect the Royals to be very busy in the next couple of weeks, trying to add some arms to their rotation. Most of their pitching parameters are middle of the pack, thanks to their fantastic bullpen. They’re only 26th in the majors when it comes to quality starts. Their two World Series appearances in 2014 and 2015 were never too heavily based on starting pitching quality, but their situation this season is more dire than before, and leaning on the weak foundation they currently have will probably result in missing the playoffs.
As good and consistent as Homer (All-Star MVP) and Perez have been, it’s going to take more than them to beat a much more difficult field and division this season.