Series Preview: Blue Jays vs Royals July 29-31

The Toronto Blue Jays out on a 10 game road trip starting with a 3 game series against the Kansas City Royals

 

 

 

 

Toronto had an eventful homestand. Cleveland took 2 of 3, outscoring Toronto 12 to 5. Tampa and Toronto experienced a slugfest with both teams showing tremendous character with come from behind wins in game 2 and game 3. Tampa took the series 2 games to 1. It appears the Blue Jays bats have awakened mashing 8HR in the past two games.

 

The Blue Jays head out on the road with 3 games against the Kansas City Royals. Toronto took 3-out-of-4 when the Royals visited the Rogers Centre between June 28th to July 1st. The Blue Jays outscored KC 30 to 18.  Since then the Royals traded RP Jake Diekman to the Oakland A’s for two minor league prospect, they’ve recalled Kyle Zimmer and 1B Ryan O’Hearn while DFA’ing 1B Lucas Duda.

 

The Royals are coming off a 4-game set against the Cleveland Indians. The Royals avoided the sweep by taking the finale 9 to 6. The Tribe outscored KC 28 to 17. The Royals are 4th in the American League Central with a record of 40-67, winning 5 of its last 10 games. Kansas City owns a 22-32 home record while the Blue Jays are 20-33 on the road.

 

Toronto sits 4th in the AL East 27.0 games back of the division-leading New York Yankees and 4 games ahead of the cellar-dwelling Baltimore Orioles. The Blue Jays are 4-6 over their last 10 games.

 

This could be an interesting series. Not because of drama on the field, rather, for the drama off the field. As mentioned above, the Royals have already begun trading Diekman following Homer Bailey to Oakland. Toronto moved utility infielder Eric Sogard in their first move of the deadline. KC could continue to move pieces with teams showing interest in Ian Kennedy, Danny Duffy, and Whit Merrifield.

 

Monday, July 29, 8:15 pm start

LHP Thomas Pannone (TOR) vs RHP Brad Keller (KC)

 

Pannone: 2-4 record, 6.38ERA, 4.99 FIP, 1.51 WHIP, 4.53 BB/9, 8.86 K/9.

 

Thomas Pannone was recalled on July 26th. The lefty made a pair of starts with Buffalo going 1-0, 0.93ERA with 3BB and 7K. Pannone has shuffled between Toronto’s bullpen (22 appearances) and rotation (3 starts). Pannone faced the Royals in 2018, coming out of the pen on August 13th and 14th with 1.1IP of no-hit relief.

 

On July 18th, Pannone threw 4.1IP against the Boston Red Sox. He allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, walking a pair and striking out 3.

 

Keller: 7-9 record, 3.95ERA, 4.31 FIP, 1.36 WHIP, 3.95 BB/9, and 6.41 K/9.

 

The 24-yr-old Keller picked up a win in his last outing, throwing 7 shutout innings against the Atlanta Braves. He allowed 4 hits, walking one, and striking out three. Keller faced the Blue Jays in Toronto on June 30th, allowing 6 runs and 2 home runs, walking 2 and striking out 3 over 5 innings. KC won 7 to 6.

 

Tuesday, July 30, 8:15 pm start

TBD  but I’m guessing Sean Reid-Foley (TOR) vs LHP Mike Montgomery (KC)

 

Reid-Foley: 0-1, 6.26ERA, 5.04FIP, 2.57WHIP, 4.26BB/9, and 8.53K/9

 

SRF pitched just one inning on Sunday. He last pitched on July 21st and was skipped on Saturday. SRF posted a record of 3-4, 6.26ERA with the Buffalo Bisons. Walks continue to plague Reid-Foley, walking 62 batters in 82 innings with the Herd. He still has good swing and miss stuff with 95K.

 

Montgomery: 1-3 record, 6.09ERA, 6.40 FIP, 1.76 WHIP, 3.71 BB/9, and 5.03 K/9.

 

The 30-yr-old lefty was acquired from the Chicago Cubs for Martin Maldonado on July 16th. In his last start, Mike Montgomery allowed one run, HR, on 5 hits over 5 innings while walking one and striking out none. Montgomery has never faced the Blue Jays.

 

Wednesday, July 21, 1:15 pm start

RHP Jacob Waguespack (TOR) vs RHP Jakob Junis (KC)

 

Jacob Waguespack: 1-1, 5.63ERA, 4.14FIP, 1.54WHIP, 2.63BB/9, and 8.25K/9

 

The 25-yr-old righty has made 3 starts and 2 relief appearances for the Blue Jays. Wags looked good against the Tampa Bays Rays on July 26th, throwing 5 innings allowing 3 runs while walking 3 and striking out 2 in the loss.

 

Jakob Junis: 6-9, 5.03ERA, 4.84FIP, 1.42WHIP, 3.23BB/9, and 8.62K/9

 

Jakob Junis faced the Indians on July 26th. He threw 6 innings, allowing 6 runs on 10 hits. Junis walked 2 and struck out 5 batters in the loss. It was quite a different result than his previous start against Cleveland on July 20th. Junis fired 6 scoreless innings, surrendering 2 hits, walking 3, and striking out 7 in the win.

 

Jakob Junis last faced Toronto in 2017, making two starts. His last start was on September 20th. He earned the win allowing 2 runs on 3 hits over 6.1IP.

 

More About KC

 

The Royals hold the 19th best batting average (.248) but are 28th with 102 HR. KC leads the league with 91 stolen bases and 31 triples. The Royals are two spots better than Toronto at 25th with a .714OPS.

 

Over the last 30 days, Alex Gordon owns a .351BA and .847OPS with 6 doubles, and a HR. Gordon leads the Royals with 33 hits over this period. Whit Merrifield has the 2nd most hits (31) and owns a .298BA with .814OPS with 7 doubles, 2 triples, a HR, and 4 stolen bases. Jorge Soler leads the Royals with 6HR over the last 30 days while batting .267 with 3 doubles, 19RBI, and 11 walks.

 

Nicky Lopez is batting just .195 with 4 doubles, and a .464OPS over the last 30 days.

 

Prediction: With the loss of Eric Sogard and Marcus Stroman on Sunday, the Blue Jays might not be in the best frame of mind. I expect the Royals to win 2 out the 3 games with a split of the first two games.

 

 


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Ryan Mueller

Lover of all things Toronto Blue Jays. Blue Jays MiLB fanatic. I strive for average while stumbling onto above average. Rogers isn't cheap. Baseball is a business. Your right, but I'm more right.