The conclusion is all but foregone that the World Champion Kansas City Royals will not retain that title as the clock ticks down on the 2016 season. With a three-game series against the division-leading Cleveland baseball team with a racially insensitive caricature as a mascot that does not appear to be getting phased out despite assertions from the organization to the contrary, the Royals have a chance to cut into Cleveland’s 9.5 game lead. Closing the gap would purely be academic at this point, as the Royals stand little chance of catching Cleveland, who looks like they will prevent the Royals from repeating as division title champs.
Game One: Tuesday, 6:10 PM CDT
Crazy stat for the day: Josh Tomlin has allowed 15 more home runs than walks. That goes a long way to explaining the disparity between his FIP and ERA.
Game Two: Wednesday, 6:10 PM CDT
Kluber Status Update: Still really good.
Game Three: Thursday, 6:10 PM CDT
|Jason Vargas (L)||1||3.0||1||1||3.00||3.47||6.27||6.05||0.1||0.1|
With Danny Salazar and Carlos Carrasco going down last week, rookie Mike Clevinger will need to come through down the stretch and into the playoffs if Cleveland hopes to capitalize upon an impressive 2016 regular season. As it stands, Clevinger is their number four starter, hardly the scenario Cleveland envisioned when rolling over the American League for the first five months of the season. Clevinger has been serviceable of late, but his first few starts were rough. This should be his first start back up to the 100-pitch mark, so how he looks the third tie through the order could very well determine the outcome of this game.
|Carlos Santana (S)||DH||636||32||80||77||5||.246||.355||.475||.357||122||2.7||2.2|
|Jason Kipnis (L)||2B||641||22||85||78||13||.278||.344||.469||.348||116||4.4||3.5|
|Francisco Lindor (S)||SS||643||14||93||71||18||.310||.357||.441||.341||112||5.6||5.3|
|Jose Ramirez (S)||3B||573||10||78||70||21||.311||.362||.454||.351||118||3.7||3.3|
|Coco Crisp (S)||LF||472||12||50||50||9||.228||.296||.393||.297||86||-0.7||0.0|
|Tyler Naquin (L)||CF||333||14||48||42||5||.302||.372||.539||.383||140||2.1||0.6|
|Abraham Almonte (S)||RF||181||1||23||22||8||.271||.298||.412||.300||83||0.5||0.6|
|Michael Martinez (S)||Util||92||1||13||4||0||.261||.286||.341||.273||65||0.0||0.2|
|Lonnie Chisenhall (L)||OF||386||8||42||55||6||.297||.337||.457||.337||109||1.5||1.4|
*Stats through Monday, September 20
Seems like these guys look pretty familiar. Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis are still pretty, pretty, pretty good. Mike Napoli crushes baseballs. They’ve gotten virtually no production out of Michael Brantley who has been on the mend for pretty much the whole season. Their offense has been roughly league average 102 wRC+, but their sterling defense has made the position players the third-most valuable squad in terms of fWAR.
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