For a while Friday, it looked as though the American League Championship Series opener in Baltimore would be rained out.
That didn’t happen. But the forecast isn’t good for game three of the series Monday night at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals lead the Orioles 2-0 in the best-of-seven.
According to the National Weather Service, there’s a 100 percent chance of rain in the Kansas City area Monday afternoon, with winds gusting to 26 mph and rainfall amounts reaching 1 inch. After the 7:07 p.m. scheduled first pitch, a 90 percent chance of rain is forecast with continued gusts and up to a half-inch of precipitation possible.
Before the opener in Baltimore, Orioles manager Buck Showalter was optimistic the game would be played regardless of the forecast. Will he be right again?
“We’ll see what it brings,” he said Sunday. “If it says 80 percent, then 80 percent of the area gets 100 percent chance of rain. If it says 100 that doesn’t look too good. It will change, I hope.
“I tell you one thing, Kansas City has the best rainstorm I’ve ever seen. I’ve seen the dugout fill up here in about three minutes.”
Starters for Game 3 — Baltimore left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, who had a no-decision in a game-two division series start against the Tigers, is scheduled to face Royals righty Jeremy Guthrie, who’s making his postseason debut.
Chen gave up seven hits, including two home runs, and five runs in 3 2/3 innings Oct. 3, when the Orioles came back and won 7-6 before sweeping the series. But he has a 2.84 ERA in two career starts at Kauffman Stadium, giving up 14 hits while striking out four and walking one in 12 2/3 innings.
Guthrie hasn’t pitched since the Royals clinched a postseason spot at Chicago on Sept. 26, a 3-1 victory in which he went seven scoreless innings and struck out six. But he has thrown a simulated game since to stay fresh.
“He was set to pitch game four if we needed it against Anaheim. We just didn’t need him there,” Royals manager Ned Yost said Sunday. “But his side sessions have been very, very sharp.
“And later in the year the little extra rest we could get him the better he was. So I think this is going to benefit him.”
Yost confirmed that Jason Vargas, who started the game-one victory over the Angels, would start game four for the Royals.