MLB picks: Indians vs. Royals, Braves vs. Rockies
Let’s discuss our two top plays on Thursday’s MLB slate!
First, we’ll dive into an AL Central showdown between the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals. Then we’ll highlight the series opener between the Atlanta Braves and the Colorado Rockies.
Fri, September 3 2021, 12:10 AM
Triston McKenzie and the Indians should secure the series sweep against the Royals on Thursday night.
McKenzie was dominant over four starts in August, producing a 1.93 ERA. He struck out 28 batters while walking only two, and recorded a microscopic 0.500 WHIP. The Florida native has faced K.C. three times in 2021, and has limited their lineup to one run over 15 2/3 innings.
Mike Minor responds for the Royals, hoping to kickstart a strong September after three straight months with an ERA above 5.20. The Indians knocked him around both times they faced in him in 2021, plating nine runs over 9 1/3 innings while batting .324.
Cleveland is 8-3 in its last 11 games, averaging 5.64 runs per contest. The Royals have a negligible advantage in the bullpen department of late, but the Tribe should have things sewn up by the seventh inning.
Fri, September 3 2021, 12:40 AM
Two swingmen and two vulnerable bullpens should combine to allow plenty of runs at Coors Field on Thursday night as the Braves visit the Rockies.
Touki Toussaint starts for Atlanta, and he could be a bit rusty having thrown just one inning since Aug. 22. He’s been serviceable when called upon, with a seven-run outing against the Milwaukee Brewers on July 31 being his only blemish. But Toussaint will pitch in a hitter’s haven, where Colorado is averaging an MLB-high 5.91 runs per game.
Chi Chi Gonzalez goes for the Rockies, and there’s little to like about his 2-5 record and 6.15 ERA as a starter this year. He’ll take on a Braves offense that’s produced all season long, ranking eighth by runs per game (4.84).
Gonzalez should pay special attention to the red-hot Austin Riley, who hit .364 with eight homers in August before taking an 0-for-4 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.
Neither the Braves’ nor the Rockies’ bullpen has been much to write home about of late; Atlanta is 16th by ERA over the last 30 days (4.03), while Colorado is 17th in the same span (4.07).