Jakob Junis (0-1, 4.32 ERA) vs. Triston McKenzie (2-0, 1.69 ERA)
The Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians will meet for three more games after the Tribe got things started with a 5-2 win on Labor Day. Zach Plesac was effective through 7 innings for Cleveland. He held the Royals to a run before leaving the contest and handing the ball over to the bullpen.
Meanwhile, Brad Keller, who had been quite efficient up to this point, was walloped for 8 hits and 4 earned runs in 6.2 innings. When Keller gets hit like that, it’s going to be awfully tough for the Royals to win games. The Royals haven’t been winning at all recently, and will look to put an end to a five-game losing streak on Tuesday.
The Royals were swept by the Chicago White Sox and then fell 5-2 yesterday to another AL Central rival. They are a 14-28 team going into Tuesday for a 12.5-game hole in the division. Despite an expanded postseason, the Royals are done when it comes to the playoffs. It’s time to count down the calendar and head into the offseason.
We’re all used to a 162-game schedule in the major leagues, so this feels like absolutely nothing. If it feels like the regular season just started, it’s because, well, it did just start. I don’t know if we needed 162 games to figure out that the Royals are a bad team and the Dodgers are good, though.
The Yankees certainly would have benefited from a long season, but I don’t think the Dodgers or Rays mind this shortened campaign. Especially the Rays, who are the biggest beneficiaries from the Yankees’ injuries. After the Yankees gave up 10 runs in an inning in Buffalo last night, the blame turned to Adam Ottavino who gave up 6 earned runs without recording an out. His ERA went from a 3.55 to a 7.82. Ouch.
In the AL Central, the Indians are in a tie with the White Sox for the lead. They’re up a game on the Twins who are within striking distance. This is shaping up to be the tightest divisional race in baseball in a couple of weeks.
There isn’t a lot talent wise that separates the three teams, so I don’t see much changing. Cleveland is expected to send out Triston McKenzie today, while the Royals will counter with Jakob Junis. Head below for our free KC Royals vs. Cleveland Indians pick for September 8, 2020.
Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians MLB Betting Odds:
KC Royals vs. Cleveland Indians Prediction:
The Indians have been getting a nice lift from prospect Triston McKenzie in 2020. McKenzie is a 23-year-old getting the first taste of the major leagues. He didn’t get his feet wet last season, so McKenzie is brand new on the hill for the Indians in the 2020 campaign.
So far so good for McKenzie, who heads into Tuesday with an ERA of 1.69 and 0.75 WHIP through three games and 16 innings of service. McKenzie hasn’t been carrying himself like a rookie in 2020. He looks really comfortable out there and is doing everything asked of him.
Opposing teams have connected for a .151 batting average against McKenzie this season. He hasn’t given up much and already has a standout performance versus the Royals under his belt. McKenzie held the Royals to just 3 hits and no runs last week at Kauffman Stadium.
McKenzie has been at his best at home, though, with an ERA of 1.50 and 0.50 WHIP. He should be able to handle the Royals for a second consecutive game on Tuesday. Jakub Junis will have to post a big performance at Progressive Field to give the Royals a chance.
Junis has been vanilla with an ERA of 4.32 and 1.44 WHIP through four games and 16.2 innings of work. It’s consistent with what he’s done in his first three seasons as a major league hurler. Across 85 games, Junis owns a 4.68 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in his career. The Tribe are hitting .290 with 7 home runs and 26 RBI in 141 at-bats versus Junis. This should be a 2-run win or more on Tuesday at Progressive Field for the Indians.