Detroit Tigers (62-95) vs. Kansas City Royals (77-80)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, September 28th, 8:15 pm EST
Daniel Norris (4-8, 5.59 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (9-9, 3.68 ERA)
Line: Kansas City -182
The Tigers are in Kansas City for their penultimate series of the year and Thursday’s contest will be the final of the three game series. The Royals won the first game 2-1, but they were eliminated from playoff contention as the Twins won their game. It’s been an up and down season for the Royals, one in which they got off to a terrible start, and then made a nice run to get into contention, which they stayed in for most of the year. Still, it will be frustrating to have not made it.
The Tigers have been the worst team in baseball for the last couple of months and they have now lost eight games in a row. They have the worst record in the American League and are tied with the Giants with only 62 wins, for the majors lowest. If they happen to lose their last five games, they could end with 100 losses.
Norris looks to end strong
Daniel Norris has had a season to forget for sure, and his only hope that he can pitch well in his last start to give hime a little momentum heading into next year. The 24-year-old has had a definite slump this year, going 4-8 with a 5.59 ERA, which is quite the drop off from a career in which he had gone 7-4 up to this season.
He’s gone 0-4 with five no decisions over his last nine appearances, a really terrible stretch. Things have not gotten better lately as he gave up seven hits and five earned runs over 4.2 innings in his latest start, and he was given his 8th loss of the year in that game. His WHIP is 1.68 and batters are hitting over .300 against him.
Duffy gets the call for the Royals
Danny Duffy will be on the mound on Thursday, making his last start of the season. He’s been within a game of .500 almost all season long since starting 2-0, but he really has pitched better than his record indicates. He’s got a very solid ERA of 3.68 and his other numbers are solid too, with a WHIP of 1.23 and batters only hitting .255 against him. Duffy is 28 years old and should be in the prime of his career.
He’s gone 2-1 over his last three starts, pitching well in all of them. He has given up only five earned runs and 10 hits over 17 innings. In fact, in his second and third starts back, he allowed only one hit in both starts, even though he gave up three earned runs collectively. I expect him to pitch well on Thursday night against the currently anemic Tigers offense.
The Detroit Tigers are:
- 3-13 in their last 16 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- 5-16 in their last 21 road games
- 14-37 in their last 51 games on grass
The Kansas City Royals are:
- 36-16 in Duffy’s last 52 home starts
- 16-6 in Duffy’s last 22 starts vs. teams with a losing record
The Royals have been great against teams with losing records, and Duffy has been a great home starter over the last several years. Couple that with the fact that the Tigers can’t win a game, and this game appears to be an easy win for KC.