The Royals are in rebuilding mode this season and it has showed in the early going. Kansas City ranks last in the MLB in runs scored with just 39 through their first 13 games. Kansas City owns a .231/.298/.391 slash line and just five home runs as a team this season.
Skoglund struggles in season debut
The Royals are slated to send left-handed prospect Eric Skoglund to the mound on Monday night for the first game of their three-game series against the Blue Jays. Skoglund’s season debut came after a 23-day layoff due to off-days and postponements. He allowed five runs on six hits over 4 ⅔ innings in a loss to the Mariners.
Skoglund showed some promise as a member of the Royals’ minor league system. He went 4-5 with a 4.11 ERA in Triple-A in 2017, while striking out 9.12 batters per nine innings of work. Skoglund didn’t have as easy of a time missing bats in his MLB debut. He walked more batters (two) than he struck out (one) in his first MLB start of 2018.
Garcia looks to build on strong start
The Blue Jays are projected to counter with veteran left-hander Jaime Garcia on Monday evening. Garcia struck out five in his last outing and now has 12 strikeouts against just four walks through two starts this year. He comes in with a 1-0 record to go along with a 3.18 ERA so far this season.
The Blue Jays’ lefty has only made one start against the Royals since 2015. In that outing, he went eight shutout innings, allowing just four hits, while striking out six and walking none way back in 2015.
He’ll have to be careful with Royal’s first baseman Lucas Duda, who gave Garcia some trouble while the two were rivals in the NL Central as members of the Mets and Cardinals, respectively. Duda is 2 for 5 with a home run off Garcia over the past five years.
According to Baseball Savant, the current Blue Jays’ roster is batting .318 with a .375 BABIP off of Garcia coming into Monday’s game. Garcia owns a 5.90 FIP against the current Blue Jays’ order – in part because he has BB% of 13.5 percent against them.
- Royals are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. a team with a winning record.
- Royals are 0-5 in their last 5 overall.
- Blue Jays are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series.
- Blue Jays are 5-0 in their last 5 Monday games.
Skoglund had trouble getting outs in his first career MLB start. Even though a lot of those first start jitters should be gone on Monday, his peripherals didn’t support a turnaround here. It’s hard to trust a pitcher that has given up 25 runs in 22 ⅔ career MLB innings. Look for Jaime Garcia to do enough on the mound to get the win in this
American League battle on Monday night. Take the Blue Jays to win Game 1 of their series against the Royals here.