The Kansas City Royals survived a late rally by the Detroit Tigers in the 9th to hold on for a 6-5 win. They blew a 5-4 lead, but Ryan O’Hearn walked the Tigers off with a deep shot to left field. The win was about as meaningful as a spring training win for the team. Although, Jorge Soler became the Royals’ single-season home run record holder last night, so that accounts for something.
Unfortunately, breaking the record in a losing season is a small consolation for the Royals. The Royals will have that World Series from 2015 to hang onto for a long time, though. They have a built-in grace period for being bad because of the championship.
Having said that, it only lasts for so long. The Royals are going to have to start winning again. The main difference between this team and the World Series winning steam has to be their bullpen. The relievers in KC were lights out for the Royals during their run to a championship.
A competent bullpen can carry a team miles in the postseason. It isn’t so competent these days, nor is their starting rotation who have been all over the place in 2019. Several guys wanted to get paid after 2015 and keeping that team together was going to be next to impossible.
This all adds up to a record of 50-89 for the Royals. That’s good enough to keep them out of dead last in the AL Central. The 5th place honor goes to the Detroit Tigers, who fell to 40-96 Tuesday night.
They’re going to avoid finishing with a worse record than they did in 2003, when they finished 43-119, but that’s a small win for a team who are going to continue to go through growing pains in the next two years. Rotation filler Edwin Jackson is expected to get the nod for the Tigers on Wednesday. Jakob Junis is expected for the Royals. Head below for our free Tigers vs. Royals pick and writeup.
Detroit Tigers vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
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If Edwin Jackson is in the starting rotation for the Tigers, then their pitching staff is going to be in trouble again. That goes for other teams as well. Edwin in the rotation means that depth is a major issue and he is being used as more of a last resort option.
The Blue Jays gave up on Jackson after posting a 11.12 in eight appearances. Toronto just couldn’t afford to keep trotting him out there and he was released. Jackson has improved in Detroit, but it’s nothing to get excited about. When you have an ERA of 11.12, it’s kind of hard not to improve on that.
Jackson has posted an ERA of 7.23 in 23.2 innings with the Tigers. That brings his combined ERA from Toronto and Detroit to 9.35 with a 1.93 WHIP and .413 OBA. He started off pretty good with the Tigers, but he’s sinking again, just like he did with the Jays.
Jackson has allowed 12 earned runs in his last 7.1 innings on the hill. He enters with an ERA of 11.68 and 2.43 WHIP in his last three outings, which is consistent with his effort in Toronto. Expecting him to suddenly figure out how to pitch in KC is a tall order.
Jakob Junis hasn’t been great recently, either. But he gets the nod over Edwin in this matchup. Junis enters with an ERA of 6.06 and 1.47 WHIP in his previous three outings. He’s been struggling mightily in his last two outings as well, with 8 earned runs allowed.
Junis has been off the mark at home in 2019. He holds an ERA of 5.56 and 1.42 WHIP in 87.1 innings of action in Kansas City. Both bullpens have been anemic, with the Royals 26th in the majors with a 5.03 ERA and the Tigers 24th with a 4.97 ERA.