If Major League baseball’s playoff system worked like the minor league playoff system, the 2019 second half Royals would be off to a great start.
After winning just four of their first 25 series’ on the season, the Royals have won three of their first four after the All-Star break. During that stretch, Kansas City recorded their first four-game winning streak of the season and have won nine of their last 12 games.
They have done so thanks in large part to some strong starting pitching from Danny Duffy, Brad Keller, Jakob Junis, and Glenn Sparkman.
Since the All-Star Break, the @Royals foursome of Danny Duffy, Brad Keller, Jakob Junis and Glenn Sparkman are a combined 7-1 in 10 starts with a 2.14 ERA (15 ER in 63.0 IP).— Nick Kappel (@NickKappel) July 25, 2019
Duffy and Keller’s performances highlighted a quick two-game sweep over the Braves. Duffy struck out a season-high 11 batters in six innings of work on Tuesday, giving up just one run, while Keller threw seven shutout innings last night in his seventh win on the season. He also drove in the first run of his career on an RBI single in the 2nd.
The Royals will hope to stay hot and keep their good fortunes going on the mound, sending newly acquired Mike Montgomery to the mound in the series opener against Cleveland. Montgomery struggled in his first start as a Royal, surrendering five earned runs to the Indians in just two innings of work. He will be making his second start against Cleveland in as many weeks.
He will be opposed by Adam Plutko, who has pitched well against the Royals this season, giving up just two runs across 11.0 innings. Plutko took a hard-luck loss last week, giving up only two hits to the Royals across seven innings of work. One of those two hits was a solo home run by Hunter Dozier, which proved to be the only run of the game for either squad.
Here are your lineups for tonight’s action as the Royals open a seven-game homestand: