Daniel Lynch is making his first start of the season as the Kansas City Royals (15-38) host the Washington Nationals (23-29) at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium on Sunday with the visitors eyeing a sweep of the three-game Interleague series.
The Nationals lead the series 2-0 after winning 4-2 on Saturday, their fourth straight head-to-head victory. Mason Thompson threw two scoreless innings of relief to get the win, and Kyle Finnegan earned his 11th save with a scoreless ninth. Jeimer Candelario was 2 for 4 with a double and one run in the win. Salvador Perez went 2 for 4 with a solo home run for the Royals.
ON THE MOUND
MacKenzie Gore (3-3, 3.88 ERA) is in line to get the start for Washington. The southpaw allowed three runs over 4.2 innings in his last start, a 7-4 road defeat against the Padres on Tuesday.
He yielded seven hits while striking out five and walking four in the no-decision. For Kansas City, left-hander Lynch takes the mound, his season debut. He was 4-13 over 27 starts last season with an ERA of 5.13. He struck out 122 and walked 52 over 131.2 innings.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Washington has averaged 6.2 runs a game, up from their season average of 4.3, while slashing better across the board (.294/.371/.450). Against southpaws like Lynch this season, the Nats have a .791 OPS.
Lane Thomas is the team’s most productive hitter against left-handers with a 1.043 OPS in 59 at-bats. Kansas City is averaging 5.0 runs per game in the last five, up from 4.0 for the season, with an improved slash line (.256/.332/.415).
The Royals have a .751 OPS against left-handers in 2023. With a 1.007 OPS over 45 at-bats, Bobby Witt Jr. has been their best hitter against left-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Washington is 12-12 in away games in 2023, scoring 5.1 runs per game while allowing 4.3 runs. Kansas City has lost three in a row in front of their home fans.
The Royals are 7-21 at home this season, averaging 4.4 runs per game while surrendering 6.0. In the last 10 games between the teams at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Washington is 8-2 with an average scoreline of 7.4-4.1.
The Nationals are fifth in the NL East, nine games behind the division-leading Braves. The Royals are fifth in the AL Central, 11 games behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Washington Nationals (-110)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.