Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals Preview, Saturday 6/25, 6:10 CT: Sellout Expected

KANSAS CITY -- It rained much of the morning in the KC area and scattered storms are expected this evening. You know, because the Cubs haven't had enough rain delays and rainouts already this season.

The Royals are expecting their first sellout since Opening Day this evening. Friday night was the largest crowd at the K other than that Opening Day game. That is an amazing tribute to the loyalty of Cubs fans. The Yankees and Red Sox, two teams that draw well, have not yet visited the K in 2011, but neither team brought a sellout crowd there in 2010. Part of this, clearly, is the novelty of a Cubs visit here, the first in 11 years; the Yankees and Red Sox visit every year.

But the fact that Cubs fans are going to fill the K in a year when they are so far under .500 is a lesson, I think, to Cubs management -- ticket prices in KC are significantly lower than they are in Wrigley Field for comparable games, in some cases less than half what you'd pay in Chicago. Unless the Cubs return to contention, those high prices at Wrigley are likely unsustainable.

Here's hoping for no rain this evening and a Cubs win. For BCB'ers at tonight's game, you can find me in section 214, row BB.

Cubs lineup:

Johnson cf, Castro ss, Baker dh, Ramirez 3b, Soto c, Soriano lf, \ena 1b, Montanez rf, LeMahieu 2b

Royals lineup:

Dyson cf, Hosmer 1b, Butler dh, Gordon lf, Maier rf, Moustakas 3b, Treanor c, Getz 2, Escobar ss
Today's Starting Pitchers
Carlos Zambrano
Carlos Zambrano
Cubs
vs. Danny Duffy
Danny Duffy
Royals
6-4 W-L 1-2
4.50 ERA 5.03
72 SO 29
37 BB 22
9 HR 5
vs. KC -- vs. Cubs

W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Carlos Zambrano 6-4 17 16 0 0 0 0 104.0 101 53 52 9 37 72 4.50 1.33


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2011 - Danny Duffy 1-2 7 7 0 0 0 0 34.0 39 19 19 5 22 29 5.03 1.79

Carlos Zambrano has never faced the Royals. The only player on their team he's faced for more than nine plate appearances is Jeff Francoeur (5-for-25, .200, two doubles, one HR). Naturally, Francoeur isn't playing tonight.

Danny Duffy, one of the Royals' better pitching prospects, is making his sixth major league start. Obviously, he's never faced the Cubs or anyone on the current roster. His five starts to date have ranged from mediocre to decent; his biggest issue so far has been walks (22 in 34 innings). The Cubs rarely exhibit patience; if they can do so tonight, they'll score some runs.

Today's game is on WGN and FSN Kansas City. Here is the complete MLB.com Mediacenter for today.

MLB.com Gameday

Baseball-reference.com game preview

SB Nation game preview

Please visit our SB Nation Royals site Royals Review.

Today's first pitch thread will be up at 6 pm CDT and the overflow threads will post at 7 pm, 8 pm and 8:45 pm CDT. If you need more overflows due to extra innings or rain delays, post them in the fanshot section.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

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