For the first time in history, there will be a Major League Baseball game in the state of Nebraska as the Kansas City Royals "host" the Detroit Tigers on Thursday night at TD Ameritrade Park in Omaha to conclude a three-game series. It's a first pitch of 8 p.m. ET from the site of the annual College World Series and will be televised by ESPN.
It's also the first time the Royals have played a home game outside of Kansas City. Omaha is around 185 miles northwest of K.C. The Royals' Triple-A affiliate, the Storm Chasers, has played in Omaha since 1969.
TD Ameritrade Park opened in 2011, seats about 24,000 and not only hosts the College World Series but also Creighton's baseball team. This year's CWS starts Saturday and there is an unexpected tie-in with the Tigers as the University of Michigan is one of eight teams in the field (Wolverines open Saturday vs. Texas Tech). It's the school's first trip to the CWS since 1984, which also happens to be the last time the Tigers won the World Series.
Detroit lefty Matthew Boyd (5-4, 3.08) is on the mound, and he pitched in the 2013 College World Series while at Oregon State. Boyd hasn't allowed more than three earned in his past four starts but has just one win to show for it with poor run support ? he gets just 3.2 runs per game on average. Boyd beat the Royals in Detroit on May 3, allowing two runs and five hits over seven innings with nine strikeouts.
It's journeyman Homer Bailey (4-6, 5.90) for the Royals. He hasn't won since May 10, but the Royals did win his last start when Bailey allowed three runs over six innings against the White Sox. Bailey won in Detroit on May 4, allowing two runs over six innings.
Kansas City is a slight underdog on the MLB odds.