On Tuesday, the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals will meet up in an interleague series at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. The rivalry, known as the Show-Me Series because both teams are from the Show-Me State (Missouri), is at 1-1 so far this year.
Cardinals Turn Things Around
After getting their record to 56-47 on the season, the St. Louis Cardinals went into a tailspin which resulted in just two wins over 10 games. The last five of this stretch were all losses, leaving them just three games over .500 entering their most recent series with Pittsburgh. Luckily, they took care of business against the Pirates; the Cardinals got back on track, completing a three-game sweep against Pittsburgh.
St. Louis’ offense, which was in a bad spot before playing the Bucs, combined for 20 runs across three games, punctuated by an 11-run outburst in a win on Sunday. Dexter Fowler and Paul Goldschmidt both played a big part in their sudden awakening, each collecting hits in all three games and combined, they hit .500 during the series. Additionally, both hit home runs in the 11-run outburst on Sunday afternoon. Moving forward, the hard part will be continuing their hot hitting.
On Tuesday, they’ll get a little bit of a reprieve because one of their best arms will be starting, Jack Flaherty. In 23 starts this year, the righty has a 3.72 ERA but in August alone, he hasn’t allowed any earned runs. In 14 innings (two starts), he’s scattered five hits while striking out 19.
Royals Looking to Beat Rival
Kansas City doesn’t have a lot to play for at this point but that didn’t stop them from winning their most recent series against Detroit. The Royals outscored their opponent by a wide margin, scoring a total of 19 runs while allowing just seven. Altogether, they’re 43-76 on the season, putting them 29 games back of the first-place lead in the AL Central.
At this point in the season, you cannot talk about the Royals without talking about Jorge Soler, a recent winner of the American League Player of the Week Award. Soler has gone bonkers since the break, homering a team-high 12 times in just 29 games while maintaining a .327 batting average. He now has 35 jacks on the season, giving him the fifth-most in baseball.
Glenn Sparkman will start on Tuesday for Kansas City, a sign that doesn’t bode well for the Royals. They’ve lost five of his last six starts, three of which were games where he allowed six or more runs. On the season, however, he’s been much better at home (3.00 ERA) than on the road (9.00 ERA), so that’s something.
Kansas City is:
- 4-12 in their last 16 games overall.
- 1-6 in their last 7 home games.
- 1-5 in their last 6 games with Sparkman starting.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games vs. STL.
St. Louis is:
- 6-1 in their last 7 games in August with Flaherty starting.
- 3-1 in their last 4 games with Flaherty starting.
- 3-0 in their last 3 games overall.
- 7-3 in their last 10 games vs. KC.