An easy win for the Cubs on Tuesday, breezing past the Royals by a score of 5-0. The pitching was dominant with Mike Montgomery spinning a win for the Cubs. It made for their second win in a row over the Royals and their fourth win in five efforts. The Cubs haven’t been as impressive as say the Red Sox or even the Astros, but at the end of the day, they are 1st in the National League and are going to be a tough out in the postseason. And note that they are doing this without one of their best hitters, Kris Bryant.
Bryant hasn’t begun swinging a bat yet, but that could happen soon. Nevertheless, there isn’t a clear timetable for his return. David Bote is swinging the bat extremely well though, which is taking some of the sting away. There’s usually one or two guys that not many have heard of that step up in the postseason. If you’re looking for a candidate to do that, Bote might be a guy to keep an eye on. Pretty soon more than just Cubs’ fans and baseball diehards will know who he is.
The rotation is good for the Cubs, but without a healthy Darvish, the clear nod goes to the Dodgers in the National League. Then the team they meet in the World Series, if they get there, is going to have a stellar rotation. The moral of the story here is that Cole Hamels must keep it going. He’s had a couple of his best starts of the year with the Cubs, and he’s only made two starts thus far. Hopefully the idea of playing for a contender keeps him motivated. Jose Quintana will take the mound for the Cubs, while the Royals opt for rookie Heath Fillmyer. Head below for our free Cubs vs. Royals pick and the rest of our writeup.
Chicago Cubs vs. K.C. Royals Pick
Jose Quintana (10-7, 4.12 ERA) vs. Heath Fillmyer (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
The Cubs pitched a near perfect sheet last night. They didn’t allow a run led by starter Mike Montgomery. The loss for the Royals was their sixth in a row. They’ve gone 2-8 in their last ten games, the only wins coming against the lowly White Sox. Fillmyer will get the opening honors for the Royals on Wednesday. The Royals are taking a look at their minor league system and checking out what they have for next season.
Fillmyer is one of those guys, every start is big for him. In the bullpen he has been fine, as a starter it’s been tricky for Fillmyer, though. Out of four starts, Fillmyer has had one productive start. He’s allowed 3 runs in each and yanked early in every other appearance. In the start he did do well in, it was against the Tigers who are dead last in the majors at hitting long balls. Fillmyer enters with an ERA of 4.30 and 1.36 WHIP in his previous three starts.
There hasn’t been much run support from the offense. The Royals are averaging just 2.6 runs per game during their six-game losing streak. Overall, the team is 30th with just 3.66 runs scored per game. At home they’ve actually been worse, with only 3.43 runs scored at Kauffman. The relievers don’t offer much in the way of relief, either.
The Cubs are 30th in that regard as well, with an ERA of 5.35 as a team. The Cubs cannot misstep against the Royals, who are essentially holding an audition for Fillmyer here. A loss like this are the kind that come back to haunt teams in late September. Fillmyer could improve his stock with a nice outing against the 1st place Cubs, but he hasn’t shown the ability to slow a good offense down. The Royals look like they’ve checked out, while the Cubs are primed and ready to go on a run.