Royals vs. Cardinals Analysis & Predictions 8/26/20
Kansas City Royals (12-18) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (10-9)
When: 8:15 p.m., Wednesday, August 26
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis
Starting Pitchers: Jakob Junis (0-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP) vs. Dakota Hudson (0-2, 3.46 ERA, 1.08 WHIP)
Moneyline: KC +158/STL -173 (Find better lines)
Runline: Royals +1.5/Cardinals -1.5
Here’s how rough this shortened season has been for Kansas City: the Royals have won just one series all season. Of course, it’s tough to get series wins when you’re getting pushed around every which way by the weather and COVID-19, but the fact remains that Kansas City has only managed to win its first series against Minnesota, which saw the Royals sweep the Twins.
A win here would give the Royals their first series win over the Cardinals since 2016, which was also the last time that Kansas City won the season series for the Show-Me Series. Ironically, the road team has actually seen a lot of success in this matchup. Kansas City has won six of the last 11 meetings between the teams in St. Louis, and over the past five seasons, the visitor has gone 14-6 when the teams make the trip across Interstate 70.
Bringing Jakob Junis back to the rotation changes things for the Royals in multiple ways. First, Junis hasn’t pitched since August 7 against Minnesota, when he left the game with back spasms after getting through 4.2 innings in a win over the Twins. Second, Danny Duffy will now get an extra two days to rest before his next start, which could be critical for the Royals in a long-term situation.
In the short-term, Junis needs to find a way to get beyond the fifth inning and save the Kansas City bullpen for as long as he can. In his first start of the season against the White Sox, Junis did his job reasonably well, holding the Pale Hose to two runs in 4.1 innings of work. But the Royals’ bullpen wasn’t up the job, and the White Sox crushed Kansas City after Junis left the mound, scoring a 9-2 victory.
Pitch Count Problems
On the one hand, sending Dakota Hudson to the mound against the Royals seems like an excellent proposition for St. Louis. Hudson has pitched well this season, averaging a strikeout per inning, boasting a K/BB ratio of 3.25 and shut the Royals out over six innings last season. The problem is that Hudson’s been kept on a strict pitch count by skipper Mike Shildt, which meant that Hudson came out in the fifth inning in all three of his starts. He’d given up just one hit in his most recent start and hadn’t allowed a run in 4.2 innings, but the hook came out anyway.
Hudson is a strikeout pitcher, which means that he’s going to get up there with his pitch count rather quickly. However, getting into the Cardinal bullpen isn’t necessarily something that the Royals want to do. Most of St. Louis’ stats have been rendered meaningless by the fact that the Cardinals spent about half of August out with COVID, but batting average and WHIP can still be accurately compared. The Cardinals are allowing opposing batters to hit just .180 this season, tops in the majors, and their 1.06 WHIP is second only to Cleveland. There’s a reason that Monday marked just the third time all year that a Cardinals game featured more than nine runs.
- The Cardinals are 5-1 in their past six after a loss.
- The Cardinals have won four of their past five home games.
- The Royals have won two of their past seven interleague road games.
- The Royals are 18-45 in their past 63 after a win.
- The under is 9-1-2 in the Royals’ past 12 games.
- The under is 4-1-1 in the Cardinals’ past six games as a home favorite.
- The under is 5-1-1 in the Royals’ past seven road games.
- The Royals are 1-4 in the teams’ past five meetings.
It’s supposed to be a warm, humid evening in St. Louis with the wind blowing nine miles per hour from the south, which could push the ball toward the left-field line.
I really like the under in this situation. St. Louis’ pitching has done the job well all season, and Junis should be able to get Kansas City to the fifth inning with a relatively low number of runs. The total for the first five innings is set at 4.5, and I think these two pitchers should be able to come in under that as long as the bullpen isn’t blown up in the fifth inning.
As for the game itself, I can’t see Kansas City winning two out of three in this matchup. I’m going to take the Cardinals. Attention small bettors! You can now deposit only $25 and get an extra $50 bonus at the web’s oldest and most trusted sportsbook! —> Intertops (once signed up and deposited, use bonus code ROOKIE200)
STOP LOSING TODAY! START WINNING WITH DOC'S TEAM OF PROFESSIONALS! GET A FREE NO STRINGS ATTACHED $60 FOR THIS WEEKEND'S GAMES!