This series pits two teams that are going in opposite directions, with the Braves’ quest for 100 wins still alive, and the Royals having just passed the 100-loss mark. Of course, these same two teams met for a two-game series in late July, and the Royals won both games. That proved to be an eye-opening series for the Braves, as they caught fire afterwards and ran off 15 consecutive series without a loss.
Tonight’s Royals starter, Danny Duffy, put on a clinic in that July series, throwing six innings of one-run ball and striking out 11 Braves. On the season, Duffy is 6-6 with a 4.30 ERA | 4.76 FIP. He is not usually a big strikeout guy - that 11 K performance was his only double-digit strikeout game of the year - so the Braves’ lineup will have to pray he course corrects, and that the BABIP gods work in their favor tonight.
The Braves will turn to Julio Teheran, who took a loss against KC during the July series. During that start, Teheran went six innings and only allowed two runs (both unearned), but the offense sputtered in a 2-0 loss. Recently, Teheran has struggled with his old foe, the home run (five allowed over his last nine innings), but maybe the spacey confines of Kauffman Stadium will help him keep it in the yard.
With Freddie Freeman staying behind in Atlanta while he nurses an elbow injury, it is likely we will see Austin Riley getting some reps at first base. With the division locked down and the second seed a certainty, the last five games of the season will be an opportunity for the Braves to examine their bench options more closely and narrow down who will have the opportunity to contribute in the postseason. Riley might not be the only one getting an extended look over the next several games.
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, September 24, 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
TV: Fox Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan, Rock 100.5, Braves Radio Network