The Washington Nationals and the Kansas City Royals continue their three-game interleague series on Saturday in Kansas City. Both teams are currently in last place in their respective divisions, the National League East and the American League Central. The pitching matchup on Saturday will feature Nats' righty Josiah Gray (4-5, 2.65) taking on Royals' righty Brady Singer (3-4, 7.48). The first pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PM EST.
Signs of ImprovementThe Nationals come into this series having won three of their last five games. The team has shown signs of improvement this year and has been competitive throughout the season despite the team being in the midst of a major overhaul. The Nationals are again in last place but have shown much more fight than they did last season, after dispatching franchise cornerstone Juan Soto in a major deal at the trade deadline. On Friday night in the series opener in Kansas City, Nats' second baseman Luis Garcia had a career-night going 6-for-6 with three runs scored and 2 RBI as the Nationals won 12-10. Washington trailed 2-1 before scoring eight runs in the sixth inning to take the lead for good. Garcia doubled in two during the rally.
🗣5— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) May 25, 2023
🗣COMEBACK INNING pic.twitter.com/r3gFjOwJSs
The Nationals will send righty Josiah Gray to the mound on Saturday afternoon. Gray has been the Nationals' most consistent starter this season with a team-best 2.65 ERA. He is 4-5 in ten starts with a team-best five quality starts thus far. Gray has allowed 52 hits in 57.2 innings pitched this season and has a K/9 rate of 7.3. On the road, Gray has been even better with a 2-3 record in six starts and an impressive 2.21 ERA. In nine career starts against the American League, Gray has a 4.06 ERA.
Key Injuries: CF Victor Robles is out.
Royals ReelingThe Kansas City Royals have had a rough start to the 2023 season and are firmly entrenched in last place in the AL Central Division. They come into this series after losing two of three games to the Tigers and have now lost five of six games overall to fall over 20 games below .500 on the season. On Friday night, the Royals trailed 9-2 and nearly came all the way back before falling 12-10 to the Nationals. SS Bobby Witt Jr. went 4-for-5 with two home runs and 5 RBI in the loss.
Six Gold Gloves for a reason.#WelcomeToTheCity pic.twitter.com/WQcXkZvZNv— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) May 20, 2023
The Royals will send righty Brady Singer to the hill on Saturday. Singer has had a difficult season after looking like a potential staff ace in 2022. In ten starts this season, Singer has struggled with his control and the long ball, walking 20 batters in just 49.1 innings of work and giving up eight home runs. He has given up 61 hits overall and his WHIP has jumped from 1.14 in 2022 to 1.64 so far this season. He has just three quality starts on the year. He has pitched slightly better recently with an ERA of 4.60 in his last three starts with a record of 1-0.
Key Injuries: CF Kyle Isbel is out.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Nats are currently playing good baseball and send their ace to the mound on Saturday. Gray has been a better road pitcher this season and now faces a Royals team that is hitting just .229 overall. Meanwhile, the Royals send the inconsistent Singer to the mound and he comes in with an ERA over seven at home this season. The Royals have also had trouble producing runs, with just 12 runs in their last five losses. Look for the Nats to exploit Singer's troubles with control and the long ball and for Gray to continue his road dominance here.
Take the Nats at +110.
Full-Game Total Pick
This has the chance to be a one-sided affair and I don't expect much scoring coming from the Royals in this one. KC is averaging just over 2 runs per game in their last six games and Gray has an ERA just over 2.00 on the road this season. In addition, Gray has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five starts overall. Look for the Nats offense to provide much of the punch but for the total to remain relatively low.
Take the under.