The Kansas City Royals are down to one game in their quest to defend the World Series. The Royals, the defending World Series Champions, are one loss away from being knocked out of the wildcard race. Even if they won out, there would have to be a lot of other scenarios that work out in their favor. Scenarios that are nearly impossible. Nevertheless, statistically, I guess we can keep them in the race. Back by 6 games, though, let’s be honest, let’s stick a fork in them. The Royals have proven in the past to be a resilient team, but this is one they won’t be able to wiggle themselves out of. If they were a healthy Royals team, we probably wouldn’t be having this conversation right now. They would probably be sitting comfortably with a wildcard. Their bullpen hasn’t been as efficient, so besting the Cleveland Indians who have burst onto the scene, would probably be difficult regardless.
The Indians are 91-65 and the Royals are 79-77. Before the season started, the Royals at 91-65 and the Indians at 79-77 appeared to be a sharp prediction. Back then it looked like it made sense, but that pretty well went down the toilet. There are some bright spots to be found on the Royals this season; however, nothing can compare to winning the World Series. The Royals have paid their dues over the last two seasons, so even with missing the postseason in 2016, the fans are willing to forgive them. It’s really going to be interesting to see how they respond next season. It wouldn’t surprise me if they make the right moves in the offseason, and are right back up there as a contender. They’re going to have to wait and see if they can recapture the World Series, because it’s looking like their title defense effort is going to be coming to an end in September. They will look to stay alive statistically against the Minnesota Twins tonight.
Minnesota Twins vs. Kansas City Royals
Jose Berrios (2-7, 8.88 ERA) vs Ian Kennedy (11-10, 3.64 ERA)
The Twins hope that they won’t have to rely on Jose Berrios next season. Berrios hasn’t been too reliable for the Twins in 2016. He hopes to improve from a porous ERA of 8.88 tonight. Berrios has pitched 48.2 innings and has consistently produced the same bad results. In his last three outings, Berrios posted a 7.71 ERA and 2.06 WHIP. Through 11.2 innings pitched, he surrendered 10 runs. He’s only pitched past five innings and allowed less than 3 runs once, back in the month of May.
Berrios hasn’t had a good history against the Royals at all. In two starts against them, Berrios has yielded an ERA of 9.00 and a 2.11 WHIP. Ian Kennedy has been fairly serviceable, posting a 3.64 ERA and 1.23 WHIP this season. It’s an improvement over the ERA of 4.28 he posted as a member of the Padres a year ago. Kennedy has a solid history against the Twins, with a 3.35 ERA and 1.12 WHIP. I thought the Royals would have been heavier favorites in this spot. The ML is still a bit too steep for me, but I think there is a lot of value to be had on the Royals to win by more than a run.
PICK: ROYALS -1.5 (+125)