The Blue Jays continue their three game series in Kansas City this evening, playing their second game against the home town Royals. There’s a decent chance of rain once again this evening, but hopefully the scheduled 8:10 ET first pitch isn’t delayed again.
Alek Manoah heads to the mound for the Jays, looking to continue his dominant start to the year. He has now made 10 starts this season, with an AL best 6-1 record and third best 1.98 ERA. That ERA is a bit higher than it probably should be too, as his last start ended with a Matt Chapman mental error that should have saved him 2 earned runs, but instead resulted in his highest earned runs total in a start this year, when he allowed 3 ER over 7.2 innings instead of the 1 over 8 that he should have had.
Manoah has been consistent and dominant all season. Aside from a cold game on May 8 in Cleveland when his pitch count got run up early and he made it through just 5 innings, he has thrown at least 6 innings in every other start this year, pitching into the 8th inning in two of his last three starts as well. After walking 4 in his first game, he has just 6 total walks since, including 1 total in his last 4. He’s an exciting young kid, who seems to just keep getting better the more he pitches.
The Royals will counter with one of their best young pitchers, sending 26 year old Brad Keller to the mound. Despite being just 26, this is Keller’s 5th season in the Royals’ rotation, and it’s going about normal for him. The 1-6 record is ugly, but that’s more of a bi-product of his team’s struggles, as his 4.15 ERA is over a full run better than the average Royals’ pitcher, and his 4.44 FIP is relatively good as well.