MLB series of the week
CARDINALS AT ROYALS Monday-Thursday
This is a Show-Me series in the Show-Me state. This could be the first year since 1984 that the Kansas City Royals are in the playoffs and the Cardinals are not. The Royals’ nine-game winning streak put them in wild-card position, but getting swept in Baltimore last week put them in jeopardy of falling out of wildcard position. First baseman Eric Hosmer is batting .345 since May 1. The Royals, ranking last in the AL in on-base percentage, acquired outfielder Melky Cabrera and promptly inserted him into the No. 3 spot in the lineup. The Cardinals are barely alive in the NL Central, but they haven’t been above .500 since the second of back-toback victories over the Dodgers on June 1. Shortstop Paul DeJong is tied for the team lead with 14 home runs; he didn’t make his major league debut until May 28.