It rained all day yesterday in Kansas City, so much that Game 3 of the American League Championship Series between the Royals and Orioles was postponed.  The rainout gives both teams an extra day of rest, but which team does the rainout help most?

The Royals won the first two games of the series, both close games played in Baltimore, but I think the rainout actually helps the Orioles more than it does the Royals.

Up 2-0 as the series moves back to Kansas City, the Royals have all of the momentum.  They have not lost a game yet this postseason and seem to be a team of destiny at this point.  The Orioles, on the other hand, are on the brink of having their season end soon.

There have been only three teams in MLB history that have come back from a 2-0 hole to win a League Championship Series.  And all three of those lost the first two games on the road and were able to regroup as the series came back to their home turf.

The Orioles, however, lost two consecutive games at Camden Yards and will have to scratch and claw to prolong the series past the minimum four games.

So the day off presumably takes some of the momentum away from the Royals, thus evening the teams a bit.

It’s not just for momentum purposes, though; it’s also the men calling the shots.  Buck Showalter is revered as one of the game’s best managers, while you would be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees that the Royals have won in spite of Ned Yost, not because of him.

The day off gives both managers the opportunity to reshuffle their pitching staffs as they see fit.  The Orioles can bring back Chris Tillman on regular rest, and the Royals can start James Shields if they choose. 

The O’s need a win in Tuesday’s Game 3, so it would be sensible to put their best pitcher on the hill with their backs against the wall.  For the Royals, it’s a bit different.

Do they want to have Shields pitch against the opposing ace or save him to pitch against the O’s No. 2 starter?  Do they really want to use Shields again this early in the series, or give him a little extra rest so he’s ready to go if the series gets closer?

Those are all questions that Yost can ponder with the extra day off, but Showalter can as well.  It seems like the tide has to turn sometime, and maybe the Orioles will catch a break or two. 

The rainout basically adds up to an extra day of rest to allow both pitching staffs to refuel.  If the series goes six or seven games, whoever handles the pitching staff best will have the advantage. 

If history is any indication, the Orioles are better suited in that department; thus, they are going to benefit more from this rainout.  Give a mad scientist like Showalter an extra day to contemplate future moves, and the results have a good chance of improving.

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