Tyler Chatwood (2-0, 0.71 ERA) vs. Brad Keller (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Chicago Cubs and Kansas City Royals will meet on Thursday night at Kauffman for the series finale. The Cubs are seeking a sweep after a 5-4 and 6-1 win. Yu Darvish locked the Royals up for just 1 earned run in 7 innings of play. Darvish can be one of the most inconsistent pitchers in baseball. Doing it against the Royals is one thing.
It’s another to be successful in crunch time against quality hitters. We’ll see if Darvish can continue performing at an elite level. Javier Baez led the Cubs offensively with 2-for-4 hitting and 2 RBI. The Cubs got going late with 2 runs in the 8th and 9th to pull away for a comfortable 6-1 win. With the two wins in Kansas City, the Cubs have advanced to 10-2 on the season to lead the National League.
They have a huge 4.5-game lead in the NL Central over the Milwaukee Brewers. Considering how early we are into this season, that’s a pretty big lead. Sure the Cardinals have played only five games and the Brewers nine, but it’s been clear who the best team in the division is. The Cubs look like the only team that has shown up this season focused to play. They appear to be in mid-season form, while the Brewers are still shaking off the rust.
Lorenzo Cain is gone for the Brewers after he opted out of the season, so that bolsters the Cubs’ odds. That move might have sucked the energy out of the Brewers’ locker room. When one of your leaders gives up on the season, that might have a ripple effect on the rest of the team.
Meanwhile, the Royals are well back in the AL Central, with a record of 3-10 and 7.5 games behind the Twins for first. Forget about catching the Twins. The Royals just want to see progress from some of their young players. They’re already well behind the ball only 13 games into the season.
There isn’t much wiggle room to play catch up with only 60 games. Tyler Chatwood is expected to get the call for the Cubs, while Brad Keller will counter for the Royals. Head below for our free Chicago Cubs vs. Kansas City Royals pick for August 6, 2020.
Chicago Cubs vs. KC Royals MLB Baseball Betting Odds:
Chicago Cubs vs. KC Royals Prediction:
Tyler Chatwood operated mainly out of the bullpen last season, but because of injuries in the starting rotation, Chatwood had an opportunity to start. He made the most of it and made the rotation for 2020 as well. He concluded the 2019 campaign with an ERA of 3.76 and 1.33 WHIP. His confidence has been at an all-time high this season. In spring and summer training, Chatwood came to impress with an ERA of 1.86 and 0.83 WHIP. He held the opposition to a .176 batting average. It wasn’t a fluke for Chatwood either. He has notched an ERA of 0.71 and 0.79 WHIP, with the Brewers and Pirates hitting .140.
The Royals are scheduled to give Brad Keller his first start of the season tonight. Keller was effective in his first two seasons, with a 3.08 ERA and 1.30 WHIP as a rookie. He followed up with an ERA of 4.19 and 1.35 WHIP as a sophomore in 2019. That gives Keller something to build on in this shortened season. Keller was unable to get much summer training in because of a Covid-19 diagnosis. He was recently cleared to return to play with no symptoms lingering and confirmed negative tests. The Cubs are hitting .264 with a .421 OBP against Keller in 28 at-bats. Reaching base hasn’t been that much of a problem for the Cubs versus Keller. I’m riding the hot hand of Chatwood and the Cubs to get the win for a sweep on Thursday.