Entering Tuesday, of the Royals' remaining 16 games, 10 were against either first-place Chicago or second-place Detroit.
That means that if pitching prospect Jake Odorizzi is to make his Major League debut as a starter, it'll be against Cleveland, the Royals' opponent for the other six games.
"If you were a team that was contending, would you want a rookie pitcher that was making his first Major League start pitching against you? Yeah," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "But to the team they're contending with, it's not fair. So when we play Chicago, when we play Detroit, we'll put our best team and our best pitchers on the field every game against them. We won't put any rookies in there unless it's just absolutely out of necessity. That's just the way I've always done it and that's the way it should be."
Cleveland, of course, is a different story. The Indians are well behind even the third-place Royals and have been officially eliminated.
"In my mind, when you're playing a contending team, you have a responsibility to play your best team out of fairness to both clubs. In this case, it's Detroit and Chicago," Yost said. "We'll put our best lineup on the field and do everything we can do to play our best baseball."