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Royals series preview: Cleveland

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Francisco Lindor is coming to town

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MLB: Seattle Mariners at Cleveland Indians David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland is tied for first with the White Sox at 15-12. Of course, they haven’t had the luxury of playing the Royals seven times like Chicago has.

Oh, here’s this:

The gents at numberFire sent their series projections over again, so here those are (courtesy of Alex McDonald):

In the first game of the series, we give the Royals a 49.09% chance to win.

In the second game, a 48.3% chance.

And in the third game, a 48.1% chance.

Our projections will update with any news that comes out up to the start of the game.

Series game times and matchups:

  • Friday, May 5, 7:15 PM CDT - Danny Salazar vs. Jason Hammel
  • Saturday, May 6, 3:15 PM CDT - Josh Tomlin vs. Jason Vargas (L)
  • Sunday, May 7, 1:15 PM CDT - Trevor Bauer vs. Danny Duffy (L)

Cleveland vs. Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Danny Salazar 5 29.0 42 33.3 14 11.1 4.34 3.15 3.40 3.40 0.7 0.3
Jason Hammel 5 21.2 19 17.6 13 12.0 6.65 3.97 5.66 5.16 0.3 -0.3
Josh Tomlin 5 23.1 17 15.6 3 2.8 8.87 3.77 3.38 3.63 0.3 -0.7
Jason Vargas (L) 5 31.2 29 23.6 5 4.1 1.42 2.10 3.36 3.42 1.2 1.5
Trevor Bauer 5 27.0 31 25.6 12 9.9 7.67 4.97 3.92 3.90 0.1 -0.6
Danny Duffy (L) 6 37.0 27 17.5 14 9.1 3.89 3.58 4.76 4.73 0.7 0.7

If it didn’t require ignoring the gaping chasm between the teams’ respective defenses, it wouldn’t be hard to argue that the matchups give the Royals an advantage. Of course, Cleveland’s hurlers get to face the Royals’ offense, so what does it really matter?

Cleveland position players

Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Player Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Jose Ramírez (S) 3B 115 6 15 23 2 .323 .400 .586 .413 169 1.5 1.4
Francisco Lindor (S) SS 122 7 22 17 1 .302 .372 .604 .403 162 1.4 1.2
Michael Brantley (L) LF 97 5 14 17 3 .295 .361 .511 .372 140 0.7 0.7
Yan Gomes C 67 1 6 2 0 .224 .318 .328 .293 84 0.2 0.3
Lonnie Chisenhall (L) CF 53 2 7 13 1 .298 .333 .532 .364 134 0.2 0.6
Abraham Almonte (S) RF 77 1 11 6 1 .262 .377 .385 .342 118 0.1 0.3
Michael Martinez (S) Util 11 0 1 0 0 .250 .400 .375 .352 125 0.1 0.1
Carlos Santana (S) 1B 128 2 15 16 2 .216 .320 .342 .299 88 -0.1 -0.1
Edwin Encarnacion DH 118 4 9 10 1 .198 .333 .333 .305 92 -0.2 -0.2
Roberto Pérez C 36 0 1 5 0 .176 .194 .206 .177 1 -0.2 -0.3
Jason Kipnis (L) 2B 41 0 4 2 1 .132 .171 .132 .141 -23 -0.3 -0.2
Brandon Guyer OF 44 1 3 2 0 .143 .182 .238 .188 9 -0.3 -0.1

So. Many. Switch-hitters. Francisco Lindor check? Still a burgeoning superstar. Jose Ramírez looks like he’s still good. Michael Brantley is back from the dead but no longer playing center field. Apparently those duties are—wait, what?—Lonnie Chisenhall’s. Tyler Naquin punched his ticket to the minors with a quick rough start, and Austin Jackson is on the disabled list, so apparently that means Chisenhall—former third baseman—is a center fielder right now.

As a unit, Cleveland has hit .247/.328/.406 with a .321 wOBA and 104 wRC+. Of course, the Royals have a team 65 wRC+, so there’s a huge difference between the two. And Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion have not yet begun to hit the ball well.

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference.

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Poll

How will the Royals fare against the Clevelands?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Royals sweep (ha ha)
    (20 votes)
  • 23%
    Royals take two (is this even possible?)
    (28 votes)
  • 28%
    Clevelands take two
    (34 votes)
  • 31%
    Clevelands sweep
    (38 votes)
120 votes total Vote Now