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2023 Season | Series #33 | Royals @ Guardians | July 24-26, 2023

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Wham with the Right Hand

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After taking two of three from both Pennsylvania teams the Guardians stay home to take on the Kansas City Royals, proud owners of a 28-73 record, second worst in the majors only to Oakland. The Royals are 13-37 on the road and 2-5 against the Guardians, having been outscored 39-17 in the seven games.

The Royals are a mess offensively, ranking between 28th-30th in runs per game, home runs per game, walks per game, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. There is nothing they do well offensively. In seven games against the Guardians the Royals are hitting .191 and averaging 2.4 runs per game.

Their pitching is only marginally better than their offense. The Royals rank 28th in ERA, 26th in WHIP, 25th in strikeouts, and 23rd in walks. The only thing they do well is play defense; Fangraphs ranks them 5th in that category.

Their top hitter statistically is Bobby Witt, Jr at .253/.735. Salvadore Perez is right behind at .246/.719, although he is just 2-for-17 against Cleveland this year. They have no imposing hitters to speak of. However, C Freddy Fermin is 6-for-13 against the Guardians with two doubles this year.

Lefty Ryan Yarbrough, 31, starts tonight. Yarbrough has an unimpressive line of 2-5, 5.21 ERA, but he has been much better recently. Yarbrough has allowed just five earned runs in his last three starts, lowering his ERA from 7.40 to 5.21. One of those starts was against the Guardians, who he held to one run in six innings on six hits.

Yarbrough has been a lot better on the road (3.57 ERA) than at home (6.64). He’s very good with nobody on base (.220 BAA, .276 OBP) but with runners on opponents are hitting .352 and in scoring position they’re hitting .400. The key is obviously to get on base, divide his attention, and punish mistakes. He pretty much owned the Guardians two weeks ago so let's see if they can do better now that they're more familiar with what he throws. Yarbrough spent his first five seasons with Tampa until this year so most of the Guardians haven't seen him much.

Logan Allen goes for the Guardians. Allen (4-2, 3.21) will be making his second start since returning from the minors. In his last start six days ago he shut out the Pirates on one hit over five innings.

Allen had a weird game against the Royals on June 28 in KC. He went just 3.2 innings, allowed no runs, and was pulled after throwing 98 pitches. He must have set a record for foul balls allowed in under four innings. He faced 17 batters so the Royals averaged just under six pitches per plate appearance. Hopefully Allen can get some outs earlier in the count this time around.

Allen is the opposite of Yarbrough - he gets better with men on base. With RISP opponents are hitting .143 and with RISP and two out they’re just 3-for-25 (.120).

In addition to getting hitters out earlier in the count Allen needs to maintain his effectiveness longer. First time through the order batters are hitting .173 off him. The second time through it’s up to .294 and the third time they face him they’re hitting .333.

In his first start since returning to the majors Allen only allowed the Pirates one hit over five innings. He seemed to be working both inside and outside and challenging the hitters more. In five dominant innings he threw only 77 pitches - a big improvement. I think they said he was sent down to work on pitching inside to right-handers and that's what we saw against the Pirates and it worked well.

In seven games the Guardians as a team are hitting .304/.818 against Royals pitching and averaging 5.6 runs per game.
 
Nothing like a series against the lowly Royals to get us back near .500.

With that said, must win series. I don’t see us sweeping.
 
We'll win the first two with ease and then lose in a struggle in game three.
 
We must win the series so that for once two teams in the Central will have two teams above .500
 
Lineup hasn't been posted yet... Wonder if there is a transaction in progress...
 
Against a lefty today?

LF - Kwan
SS - Freeman
3B - Ramirez
1B - Naylor
DH - Rosario
2B - Gimenez
RF - Fry
CF - Brennan
C - Naylor

Get off your hands Ferry.
 

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