It is a lost year for both the Kansas City Royals and St. Louis Cardinals, who hook up in Kansas City on Saturday looking to build upwards momentum to both close out the 2023 season strong, and see what is in store for 2024.
St. Louis Cardinals (-142, 9.5) vs. Kansas City Royals
The Cardinals will give Steven Matz the start, who has been put back in the rotation after being demoted to the bullpen earlier in the season.
Since the beginning of the month of June, Matz has posted a 1.96 ERA in six starts and 13 total appearances with just two home runs allowed across 46 innings in this span after posting a 5.60 ERA through the month of May.
Matz is backed up by an offense that has not been the same when on the road versus at home, averaging just under five runs per game at home compared to just over 4.3 runs per game away from St. Louis.
Fortunately for the Cardinals their offense has yielded much more production than that of the Royals, who’s 3.9 runs per game entering the series was the second-fewest among the 30 MLB teams while also ranking 29th in on-base percentage.
The Royals turn to Cole Ragans for his fourth start on the mound since acquiring him from the Texas Rangers, and enters in good form with a combined three runs, two of which earned across 17 2/3 innings in these three starts with 11.2 strikeouts per nine innings.
While both bullpens enter in shaky form with both in the league’s bottom eight in bullpen ERA, both starters enter in prime form and will hold down a pair of offenses that have had plenty of issues this season.
The Play: Cardinals vs. Royals Under 9.5