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Guardians vs. Royals, 8:10 ET
It is kind of sad seeing a one-time superstar get old and start to fall off the rails a bit. I talk a lot about how a pitcher is getting “old” – that’s in baseball years at least. Now that I’m the same age as some of those players, I can relate to the soreness that wasn’t there before and the extra time/rest needed. Getting old sucks, but it is definitely better than the alternative.
Now that the somewhat morbid opener is out of the way, let’s chat about why I bring that up. Zach Grienke is 38 and probably on his last legs for baseball. His return this year to the Royals has been a bit of a mixed bag. some of his games have been the same old dominant Grienke we know and love. Some of them have been an embarrassment, but most of those have been on the road. At home, Grienke has been outstanding. He has started 10 games and amassed 54.2 innings. In those innings, he has turned in great results with just 12 earned runs and allowed only one home run. He’s allowed 13 on the road. Against the Guardians, Grienke has been very successful. He’s pitched 10.2 innings and allowed just one earned run in two games.
On the other side is Cody Morris. There isn’t much to talk about Morris, a guy that is at the beginning of his career. In his first start, he stumbled a bit going just two innings and allowing two earned runs. The good news for the Guardians is that they have one of the best bullpen ERAs in baseball, so even in Morris doesn’t go super deep into the game, they may be able to stop the bleeding a bit. It doesn’t seem like anyone wants the division in the AL Central. The Guardians are just 4-6 over their last 10 games, but they did win their last two games against the Royals and now go for the sweep.
I don’t think they get the sweep here. I think that Grienke and the Royals have the edge against this rookie pitcher. It is always hard to know what to do with a pitcher there isn’t much data or a history on. We could run into a game where the opponents haven’t done their homework or seen enough film on him and he has the upper hand. Still, I’m taking the Royals through five innings in this one at +110. I’ll trust the aging Grienke at home where he has been outstanding. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Royals win the game, but why bother with bullpens?
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