The Toronto Blue Jays host the Kansas City Royals for one more game on Canada Day to conclude their four-game series. The Royals ousted the Blue Jays in a close one on Sunday by a score of 7-6. All of the scoring was done before the 6th inning, so the bullpens were able to settle in and get outs. Aaron Sanchez got rocked again, as his trade value turns into basically non-existent at this point.
It’s his fifth straight poor outing and the Blue Jays are running out of options to do with him. Going into this season, advertising him as a depth piece to other teams made sense. Although, what do they have to advertise now? They have something with Marcus Stroman, but Toronto have a problem with him.
Brad Keller got touched up as well on Sunday, but he’s a young guy that the Royals are going to have some patience with. The Royals moved to 29-55 and the Blue Jays fell to 31-53 on Sunday. In other words, news of what Kawhi Leonard is doing is going to take centerstage instead of the Royals and Blue Jays.
It isn’t the most thrilling opponent on Canada Day, but at least schedule makers gave the Jays a chance to win on the holiday. After Vlad Jr. was benched on Victoria Day earlier this season, you won’t have to worry about him getting rest on Monday.
Vlad Jr. is officially in the home run derby, so that makes that event more interesting. I’ve never been as much of a fan as the derby as most people out there, but will watch to see Vlad. Jr put on a show. He absolutely ripped through minor league pitching, and likely will tee-off against BP in the derby. There could be another explosion of runs on Canada Day, with Glenn Sparkman and Clayton Richard getting the starting jobs at Rogers Centre. Head below for our free Royals vs. Blue Jays pick.
K.C. Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays Pick:
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Clayton Richard has been around a long time in the major leagues, as he made his debut in 2008 with the Chicago White Sox. His best season as a fulltime starter was in 2010 with the Padres when he posted a 3.75 ERA. At this point in his career, he’s just in Toronto to collect a paycheck and provide an arm to fill out this awful rotation.
Stroman is a guy standing all alone on that pitching staff. Aaron Sanchez is currently listed as the No. 2 guy in the rotation, so that pretty well says it all. Richard enters Monday with an ERA of 6.89 and 1.69 WHIP. Not as bad as Edwin Jackson, who is currently on the 10-day IL, but horrible, nonetheless.
Richard has not cared for pitching in Toronto, as his ERA of 7.71 indicates. Note that he has given up 19 hits and 14 runs in 16.1 innings at Rogers Centre. Richard also carries a 1.71 WHIP and .382 OBA at home. And it’s only been getting worse for him, as he’s gotten pummeled for 11 earned runs in his last two starts at home. That includes 7.2 innings of work for Richard. There isn’t much that says Richard is suddenly going to be a threat for the Royals today. The Jays’ bullpen has a 4.41 ERA, so there isn’t much help after Richard leaves the game.
Glenn Sparkman got 3 starts and 12 appearances out of the bullpen with the Royals last season. He pitched just an inning in 2017, which happened to be as a member of the Blue Jays. He got pounded for 9 hits and 7 runs, ending the Sparkman era in Toronto rather quickly. The Jays did something similar with Matt Boyd in 2015. Boyd got shelled and was included in a deal to acquire David Price.
Sparkman hasn’t done much to provide the Jays with any regrets, but it would be nice to have a guy with an ERA of 4.07 in the rotation at the moment. Sparkman has struggled to find consistency on the road, as he’s been shaken for an ERA of 7.85 and 1.64 WHIP away from KC. The Royals’ relievers collectively own a 4.81 ERA, so there isn’t much confidence in either bullpen. I suspect a similar game to yesterday, with a 7-6 or 7-5 final on the scoreboard in Toronto.