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Royals series preview: The Cleveland baseball team

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Cleveland Indians
The key to winning streaks is jumping really high.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland has won an American League record 21 games in a row. The Royals look like a real Major League Baseball team roughly once a week. This couldn’t possibly go poorly and drive the final nail into the coffin of the Royals’ mini-dynasty.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Thursday, September 14, 6:10 PM CDT - Jake Junis versus Josh Tomlin
  • Friday, September 15, 6:10 PM CDT - Jason Vargas (L) versus Trevor Bauer
  • Saturday, September 16, 3:10 PM CDT - Jason Hammel versus Carlos Carrasco
  • Sunday, September 17, 12:10 PM CDT - TBD (does it matter?) versus Corey Kluber

Royals at Cleveland 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
Jake Junis 16 74.2 67 20.7 19 5.9 4.34 4.53 4.70 4.29 0.7 1.1
Josh Tomlin 22 121.0 91 18.1 13 2.6 5.13 4.22 4.10 4.22 1.7 0.8
Jason Vargas (L) 28 158.1 116 17.3 47 7.0 4.15 4.64 4.97 4.85 1.5 3.4
Trevor Bauer 28 158.0 177 26.2 56 8.3 4.33 3.88 3.66 3.85 2.9 2.6
Jason Hammel 29 165.0 132 18.1 45 6.2 4.91 4.41 4.95 4.68 1.9 2.0
Carlos Carrasco 29 179.1 201 28.1 41 5.7 3.41 3.21 3.31 3.38 4.7 4.8
TBD - - - - - - - - - - - -
Corey Kluber 26 184.2 243 34.6 34 4.8 2.44 2.55 2.48 2.66 6.5 7.3

One could argue that the Royals stand a chance in the first game if one only took into account the starting pitchers. The rosiest squint doesn’t even do that for the other three games.

Cleveland’s 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
José Ramírez (S) 2B 583 26 94 73 15 .309 .362 .566 .385 139 5.3 5.5
Francisco Lindor (S) SS 645 30 86 78 13 .276 .336 .505 .353 117 5.1 4.3
Carlos Santana (S) 1B/DH 601 23 89 77 5 .264 .373 .477 .362 124 3.3 3.6
Edwin Encarnacion DH/1B 604 34 87 88 2 .252 .375 .494 .369 128 2.1 2.2
Lonnie Chisenhall (L) LF/RF 258 12 34 52 2 .295 .369 .536 .377 134 1.5 1.3
Yan Gomes C 258 11 39 50 0 .230 .308 .381 .300 81 1.4 1.0
Austin Jackson CF 263 7 32 31 2 .305 .369 .485 .362 124 1.1 1.2
Yandy Díaz 3B/DH 146 0 23 11 1 .268 .377 .333 .322 96 0.7 0.5
Jay Bruce (L) RF/1B 101 4 15 15 1 .250 .337 .466 .341 109 0.5 0.2
Roberto Pérez C 212 5 18 34 0 .217 .303 .364 .292 76 0.5 0.8
Erik González IF 106 4 16 11 1 .277 .295 .455 .316 92 0.4 0.5
Abraham Almonte (S) OF 179 3 24 13 1 .300 .315 .367 .299 81 0.0 0.2
Brandon Guyer LF 190 2 23 20 2 .239 .330 .331 .296 79 0.0 -0.3
Greg Allen (S) CF 22 1 3 5 0 .238 .273 .429 .297 79 -0.1 0.0
Francisco Mejía (S) C 9 0 1 1 0 .250 .333 .250 .219 26 -0.1 -0.1
Tyler Naquin (L) OF 31 0 3 1 0 .250 .290 .321 .268 58 -0.1 0.0
Giovanny Urshela 3B 130 0 11 12 0 .231 .279 .281 .250 47 -0.3 -0.4

They’ve won 21 straight, and they’re destroying everyone in their path. It’s hard to see where the wins come from with the Royals.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in Cleveland?

This poll is closed

  • 17%
    Royals sweep
    (22 votes)
  • 3%
    Royals take three of four
    (5 votes)
  • 9%
    Split
    (12 votes)
  • 28%
    Cleveland takes three of four
    (36 votes)
  • 41%
    Cleveland sweeps
    (53 votes)
128 votes total Vote Now

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference through action on Tuesday, September 12.

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