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American League Divisional Series Preview: Kansas City Royals @ Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

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The Angels will be starting their postseason run Thursday against the Royals. This is the nothing-to-lose team that sent home the Athletics despite being down by more than a few runs in the Wild Card.

Ed Zurga

After being absent from the postseason since the 2009 American League Championship Series, the Angels are back to play October baseball. Mike Trout gets his first taste of the atmosphere while Albert Pujols and Josh Hamilton are finally getting it in a Halos uniform. They have to go through the Royals team that surmounted a major deficit against the Athletics.

The first game of this series will see two former Long Beach State pitchers duel. Jason Vargas, a former Halo, returns to The Big A with Jered Weaver hosting. Vargas is starting because "Big Game" James Shields is resting for Game 3 due to pitching two games across three days earlier in the week. The second game will pit Shoemaker against KC youngster Yordano Ventura. The Angels send C.J. to the mind for Game 3. We will have to see where both teams go after Game 3, but it is safe to assume three man pitching rotations are in order.

On the media size, you are in the hands on TBS and ESPN Radio. Ernie Johnson, Ron Darling, and Cal Ripken will be in the booth with Matt Winer reporting from around the stadium. Casey Stern, Gary Sheffield, and Pedro Martinez are holding down pregame and postgame coverage. You can always hop over to MLB Network for the same, but FOX Sports West will be providing localized content. If there is an overflow from another game, TNT will be utilized so not a single pitch is missed.

Not in front of a television or near a radio? There's an app for that. The network's site and Watch TBS application will stream this series. The ESPN Radio app will allow you to listen to the games from anywhere you can get a wireless connection. This is the easiest option for on-the-go streaming.

Game 1 in Anaheim: Thursday, October 2 6:07pm -- TBS, ESPN Radio

W-L ERA WHIP K BB GS IP
Jason Vargas 11-10 3.71 1.273 128 41 30 187.0

W-L ERA WHIP K BB GS IP
Jered Weaver 18-9 3.59 1.209 169 65 34 213.1

Game 2 in Anaheim: Friday, October 3 6:37pm -- TBS, ESPN Radio

W-L ERA WHIP K BB GS IP
Yordano Ventura 14-10 3.20 1.295 159 69 30 183.0

W-L ERA WHIP K BB GS IP
Matt Shoemaker 16-4 3.04 1.074 124 24 20* 136.0

Game 3 in Kansas City: Sunday, October 5 4:37pm -- TBS, ESPN Radio

W-L ERA WHIP K BB GS IP
James Shields 14-8 3.21 1.181 180 44 34 227.0

W-L ERA WHIP K BB GS IP
C.J. Wilson 13-10 4.51 1.446 151 85 31 175.2

Injury Report

Name Status Est. Return
LAA Ryan Brasier (right elbow strain)
Sean Burnett (TJ surgery - June 2014)
Josh Hamilton (ribcage tightness)
Brian Moran (TJ surgery - April 2014)
Garrett Richards (left knee surgery - August 2014)
Matt Shoemaker (mild oblique strain)
Tyler Skaggs (TJ surgery - August 2014)
Season over
Season over
Day-to-day
Season over
Season over
Day-to-day
Season over
2015
2015
ALDS
2015
2015
ALDS
2016
KC
Luke Hochevar (TJ surgery - March 2014)
Season over
2015