The Royals roll into Anaheim after dropping two of three against the Athletics over the weekend. Losses have been the norm for the Royals in 2018, as they haven’t had the best of starts. With their lack of a bullpen, I don’t expect it to improve much, but they should at least avoid an embarrassment. Don’t expect a 56-106 season like in 2005, but they are going to be treading water all season long. The Royals enter the new week with a record of 21-38.
Some good news for the Royals? They are going into the draft with five of the top 60 picks. Management was well-aware that there were likely going to be some harder days ahead after winning a World Series. They weren’t going to hang on to that vaunted bullpen that essentially won it all for them. The Royals did, however, set themselves up to rebuild. 2018 is one of those rebuilding years.
The Angels, on the other hand, are hoping that the Pujols-Trout era doesn’t go to waste. They spent a fortune on acquiring Pujols in 2012 and I don’t think the ROI has been the best for the Angels organization. Not one World Series appearance, and not even one appearance in the postseason for Pujols with the Angels.
A team with Pujols and Mike Trout on it shouldn’t be struggling to find the postseason. The pitching staff over the years hasn’t helped them out over the years, whether it’s been injuries or bad play. Pujols also has failed to match his productive level from his days with the Cardinals, where he was the most feared hitter in baseball. The Angels will take on the inconsistent Danny Duffy on Monday night. Head below for our free Royals vs. Angels pick.
K.C. Royals vs. L.A. Angels Pick
Danny Duffy (2-6, 5.71 ERA) vs. Nick Tropeano (3-3, 3.80 ERA)
Danny Duffy is a guy that has teetered on the verge of being an ace for the Royals. However, the flip side of that is he has also been on the verge of being a middle of the rotation roster filler. Duffy hit a career-high in 2014 with an ERA of 2.53 after finally finding a full season of action. He was plagued by injuries for a few years before 2014.
Duffy followed that year up with an ERA of 4.08, so the idea that 2013 was a fluke looked like a possibility. He followed it up with a couple of serviceable years and now he’s hitting a wall in 2018. Duffy enters with an ERA of 5.71 and 1.58 WHIP. In five of his last eight outings, Duffy has allowed 4 runs or more.
The bullpen, which was previously a huge help for the Royals, is really the catalyst for their issues in 2018, though. As a group, the relievers own an ERA of 5.46, 28th in the majors. It doesn’t matter who’s in the starting rotation, you can’t win games when a bullpen trots out only to blow games. The Royals found out what the recipe to success was in 2015 and it wasn’t a bad bullpen.
The Angels’ offense has been performing well with an average of 4.59 runs scored per game for 8th in the majors. The Royals have yet to hit a long ball against Tropeano in 39 at-bats. He’s allowed a .231 batting average against the Royals in his career. Note that includes only 2 hits for extra bases. I feel comfortable with the Angels getting the job done by 2 runs or more on Monday evening in Anaheim.