That left the third and fifth games open. But if Chen started the third game, he would follow Vargas and that would give the Tigers successive games against similar left-handers.
"I generally don't want two like pitchers pitching back-to-back so if you've got two guys that are command lefties, I don't really want to give you a good look at Vargas and a good look at Chen," Yost said.
So that means Chen probably will start the fifth game against the White Sox and either Yordano Ventura or Danny Duffy, the remaining candidates for the remaining rotation spot, would go in the third game against the Tigers. Although Duffy is also a lefty, his velocity and style offers enough contrast with Vargas to start successive games. If Ventura wins the job, that would give the Royals a right-left-right-right-left sequence in the rotation.
Dick Kaegel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.