The Kansas City Royals got swept the last time they visited the Cleveland Indians’ home as they went scoreless in three consecutive games. Unfortunately, that also contributed to the Royals’ franchise record of 45 consecutive scoreless innings this year. While the Indians combined for a total of 20 runs during that series.
The Royals will send rookie Jakob Junis (7-2, 4.34 ERA) to the mound to help them avenge their embarrassing series loss to the Indians while the Tribe will start veteran Josh Tomlin (9-9, 5.13 ERA) as they seek their 22nd straight victory to break their tie with the 1935 Chicago Cubs for the second longest winning streak in MLB history. Their series against each other opens in Cleveland’s Progressive Field.
Jakob Junis, Photo Credit: MLB
Junis hasn’t lost a Major League match since he got recalled from Triple A Omaha on July 22; he’s 5-0 with a solid 3.18 ERA in his last eight starts during that span. However, he only got a no decision in his last start against the Minnesota Twins even if he only gave up two runs out of two homers and a total of eight hits while he even struck out seven batters in 6.1 innings. Unfortunately, he came out of the bullpen in his lone game versus his upcoming opponents this year; he delivered a disappointing performance after giving up four runs on five hits including one dinger while he only struck out three batters in 2.1 frames against the Indians last August 18.
Josh Tomlin, Photo Credit: MLB
On the other hand, Tomlin has been unbeaten since he lost his last game against the Twins on June 25; he’s also 5-0 with a 3.18 ERA but he only had seven games since then because a hamstring injury sidelined him for the whole month of August. However, he’s recovered well after going 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA and a 69.7 percent strike rate since he returned this September. He’s also performed well against his next opponents this season after going 1-1 with an impressive 1.93 ERA to go along with 11 strikeouts in his past three starts versus the Royals.
Cleveland Indians vs Junis, Photo Credit: MLB
Jay Bruce, Photo Credit: Factory of Sadness
All of Cleveland’s batters haven’t had more than two at bats against Junis in their careers so far but Jay Bruce delivered a three-run homer the last time he faced the Royals starter. He ended up with three runs on three hits including two dingers and five RBIs in five at bats during that game. He’s also having a decent season so far with a .256/.325/.515 slash line and a .841 OPS.
Kansas City Royals vs Tomlin, Photo Credit: MLB
Salvador Perez, Photo Credit: MLB
While Royals’ Salvador Perez has bested Tomlin throughout his career; he’s got a total of four runs on 18 hits including one homer and 6 RBIs with a .474/.474/.763 stat line and a 1.237 OPS in 38 at bats against Cleveland’s starter. He’s also currently posting a .261/.292/.486 slash line and a .778 OPS this year.
The Tribe recently passed the 2002 Oakland Athletics for the longest winning streak in the Expansion Era (since 1961) while they also set an American League record with their 21st win in a row after they completed a sweep of the Detroit Tigers last Wednesday. While the Royals are continuously losing ground in AL’s Wild Card race after getting another loss in their latest outing against the Chicago White Sox. However, they might not be able to redeem themselves if they continue to do badly against the Tribe despite their abundance of experience versus Tomlin.
Projected Winner: Cleveland Indians