With a Show-Me Series clash in the Gateway City, the Kansas City Royals (2-2, 0-0 Away) and St. Louis Cardinals (2-1, 2-1 Home) open interleague play on Tuesday night. The first pitch from Busch Stadium is slated for 7:45 p.m. EST.
Including a three-game sweep on the road in August, St. Louis came out on the right side of five of the teams’ six meetings in 2021. This particular encounter will feature a duel between the Royals’ Daniel Lynch and St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson. Both pitchers are making their first starts of the young campaign.
Is It Possible For The Royals To Win Ugly?
Impressively, Kansas City gave up only one run in their first two outings against Cleveland. In an odd turn of events, the Royals let 27 cross home plate in the pair of contests that followed.
Kansas City would prefer to return to the earlier form in the short, two-game road swing against St. Louis, leaving the Guardians and red-hot rookie Steven Kwan in the rearview mirror. Lynch – a lefthander who has never started against the Cardinals – will look to buck the recent trend. In three starts a year ago, he posted a 4.38 ERA.
So far offensively, Bobby Witt leads the charge with three RBIs, while Andrew Benintendi is hitting .400. In his introduction to the big leagues, the former brought across the go-ahead score in a 3-1 Opening Day victory but notched only one hit in the dozen at-bats that followed.
As a whole, the Royals are struggling with their bats, posting a .191 batting average. Benintendi’s two-run ninth-inning blast Monday was his team’s only homer of the series. Only four other teams failed to crank at least two long balls in the early going.
Just Like Old Times – Err, Kind Of
With franchise icons Albert Pujols, Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainwright back in the same clubhouse, St. Louis fans had reasons to be excited even before their team took on Pittsburgh.
It didn’t look much like it used to for the batters, however, as Pujols couldn’t record a base hit in five plate appearances as a designated hitter, and Molina swung for a .083 average.
Much like Kansas City, the Cardinals did show up on defense in their first two fixtures. They beat Pittsburgh by a combined 15-2 score in those games. The Pirates took Sunday’s game, 9- before Monday’s was rained out.
Nolan Arenado and Tyler O’Neill were bright spots, pushing across 13 total runs in total during that initial series.
Cardinals Bats In For Fun Day
The moneyline lists St. Louis as the favorites at -185 against Kansas City’s +155 slate. With a relatively experienced hurler trotting out for the Royals, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cardinals come out on the right side of this one while also covering -1.5.
The over/under is locked in at 8.5 runs, and the over might be worthwhile to parlay with one of the picks above. Along with Arenado and O’Neill, Tommy Edman and Paul Goldschmidt are carrying big bats at the moment.
The foursome will look to keep the same production level against the Royals’ pitching staff, whose 6.81 team ERA is worse than all but Pittsburgh’s (6.84).