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Game five: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals

The Royals could secure at least a series split tonight

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

The birds from up north will take on our midwestern monarchy this evening at Kauffman Stadium in the second game of a four-game set. Both teams have struggled to a 1-3 record so far this season and will look to get back to within a game of .500 with a win tonight. Toronto has been fine enough offensively but has struggled to keep runs off the board: their 31 runs allowed this season is second worst in the American League. Kansas City has had the opposite problem, with solid pitching but an offense that is second worst in the American League with just 13 runs scored. A very stoppable force meets an easily movable object. Perhaps last night’s nine-run outburst is a sign of things to come.

Kris Bubic will make his season debut tonight. Can he post an xERA below 5.30 for the first time in his career? To that end, he has added a slider to the arsenal and is committed to actually throwing it this year. Toronto can run out a righty-heavy lineup, so Bubic will need the changeup to be working tonight.

Yusei Kikuchi will start for Toronto. While he posted impressive strikeout numbers in 2022, he had major walk issues and has struggled with the long ball throughout his career. He finished the season as a multi-inning reliever but will get another chance as a starter this season. The Royals have had success drawing walks so far in 2023, so this could be a poor matchup for Kikuchi.

First pitch: 6:40pm CDT

Royals lineup

Blue Jays lineup