October Confidential: ALDS Royals vs. Angels

The Royals will be in Anaheim to face the Angels in Game 1 of the American League Division Series tonight at 9 ET on TBS. The Royals will be looking to follow up on their incredible Wild Card Game victory, while the Angels begin what they hope will be a march to the Fall Classic on the heels of an MLB-best 98-win regular season.

What's the best way to beat each of these teams? To find out, we asked players from across their respective divisions to give the inside intel on how these clubs can be beaten. Our sources were granted anonymity in exchange for their candor.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS

  Date Time Matchup/Result Network
Gm 1 Oct. 2   KC 3, LAA 2 video
Gm 2 Oct. 3   KC 4, LAA 1 video
Gm 3 Oct. 5   KC 8, LAA 3 video

Jason Vargas
"He's another guy who is not going to give in. He has a good changeup. He'll kind of lull you to sleep nibbling. And then he'll throw you a cutter in to get you off the changeup. For me, I pick a side of the plate. If he has his cutter working, you just have to stay out over the plate and get the changeup up."
-- AL Central infielder

Billy Butler
"He's a patient hitter. I stay in on him. He likes to hit the ball the other way and shoot the ball. He's a gap-to-gap guy. He's not going to beat you with homers, I don't think. He doesn't swing and miss much off me. I think the times I've gotten him I've either jammed him inside with a fastball or to flare a slider."
-- AL Central pitcher

Wade Davis
"His main pitch is his cutter right now. He has a good curveball. He'll ride his four-seamer up. So you have to lay off that pitch. You have to look for that cutter early middle-in and you can hit that. But again, you have to make throw strikes."
-- AL Central infielder

 Read the complete Royals October Confidential » 

LOS ANGELES ANGELS

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Mike Trout
"Honestly, one of the best low-ball hitters I've ever seen. Ever. Honestly, the scouting report on him is anything up -- up and out, up and in. Just don't miss down. I think he hits righties better than lefties. He just seems to have a very good strike-zone discipline when it comes to right-handed pitchers down and in, down and away. From my experience with him, I have got him down, but more times than not, I've tried to pitch him up in the zone, and if you establish up, he will chase up. Other than that, he will punish you if you leave anything over the plate."
-- AL West pitcher

Jered Weaver
"He's going to throw you any pitch in any count. He's going to work the corners and not give in. If you're too aggressive off him, he's going to really give you problems."
-- AL West third baseman

Howie Kendrick
"I think he's up there in the top three second basemen in the league. The guy can hit any type of pitch. He will give you a strike early in the game. Later in the game, if there's runners on, he will be swinging. Other than that, you've just got to make pitches and breaking balls down and in are big out pitches. Very underrated."
-- AL West pitcher

Read the complete Angels October Confidential »