This time of the year it can be a bit tricky figuring out who is going to be motivated to play baseball. The Atlanta Braves’ main focus right now is staying healthy. They don’t want to overwork their starting pitching, but also want to be ready to go for the postseason. Last night was one of those nights where a team did not care. The Braves are NL East champions, so no matter what happens down the stretch, they’re going into October as divisional champs.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have clinched the best record in the majors, so there is nothing to play for there as well. No one is threatening to catch them in the National League, so there isn’t much going on for them. The only thing they could improve on is perhaps finishing with a better record than the Minnesota Twins. If the Twins and Braves happened to meet in the World Series, the Twins have the better record and would have homefield advantage.
So, in other words, there really isn’t much for the Braves to play for this week. The closest race at the moment happens to be between the Rays and Indians. Those two clubs are playing important baseball, as the Rays go into Wednesday with a slim half game lead for the final wildcard in the American League. And as far as the Royals are concerned, they are certainly playing for nothing.
Other than getting some young guys experience, there isn’t anything going on in KC. The Braves are expected to attack the Royals with a bullpen game tonight. Mike Soroka was originally scheduled, but he is going to get the night off. Instead, Josh Tomlin is going to pitch an inning or two, then hand the ball off to the rest of the bullpen. Tomlin hasn’t made a start since 2018 with the Indians. The Royals are expected to counter with Mike Montgomery. Head below for our free Braves vs. Royals pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Josh Tomlin has been active with the Braves this season, but not as a starting pitcher. They are not expected to give him a full workload tonight, but for the greater part of his career, Tomlin was a starting pitcher in Cleveland. After flaming out with a 6.14 ERA, Tomlin was promptly moved to the bullpen where he’s stayed ever since. Tomlin has made 49 appearences as a reliever for the Braves, posting a respectable 3.82 ERA.
In 36 innings, he’s posted an ERA of 4.50 and 1.19 WHIP. The Royals have done quite well against Tomlin in his career. They seen him plenty in the AL Central when he was with the Indians, so Tomlin isn’t anyone new. The Royals are hitting .301 with 15 runs scored against Tomlin in 156 at-bats. Again, though, this will be a bullpen game, so expect to see two innings out of Tomlin. The Braves’ bullpen owns a 4.23 ERA in 2019.
The Braves have scored 21 runs against Mike Montgomery in 125 at-bats. They know him best from his time in Chicago with the Cubs. Montgomery has gotten torched for an 8.31 ERA and 2.00 WHIP in his previous three outings. He allowed 12 runs in 13 innings for a pretty tough time recently. Montgomery does have a nice 2.51 ERA in Kansas City, but note his 1.42 WHIP and .348 OBP. He’s had to fight his way out of jams and caught some breaks along the way with runners on base. The Braves typically know how to take advantage with RISP. This looks like an OVER day at Kauffman Stadium.