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Royals series preview: Toronto Blue Jays

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MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Minnesota Twins
Josh Dongaldson is back
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Royals are not good. The Blue Jays are even more not good.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Tuesday, September 19, 2017, 6:07 PM CDT - Ian Kennedy versus Marcus Stroman
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017, 6:07 PM CDT - Jake Junis versus Brett Anderson (L)
  • Thursday, September 21, 2017, 6:07 PM CDT - Jason Vargas (L) versus J.A. Happ (L)

Royals at Blue Jays 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
Ian Kennedy 27 138.2 115 19.4 58 9.8 5.45 5.67 5.36 5.00 -0.3 0.4
Marcus Stroman 30 184.1 155 20.2 55 7.2 3.08 3.81 3.53 3.79 3.3 5.3
Jake Junis 17 80.1 68 19.7 20 5.8 4.15 4.45 4.69 4.39 0.8 1.3
Brett Anderson (L) 4 22.0 15 17.1 4 4.6 3.27 4.11 3.80 4.32 0.4 0.7
Jason Vargas (L) 29 163.1 120 17.4 50 7.2 4.19 4.69 5.00 4.88 1.5 3.4
J.A. Happ (L) 23 131.2 127 22.1 44 7.7 3.76 4.01 4.08 4.23 2.2 3.0

It’s hard to like the matchups for the Royals in Games One and Three of this series. Ned Yost, in his infinite wisdom is trotting dong-prone Ian Kennedy out in SkyDome. It’s hard to see how he fares well when matched up against Marcus Stroman, who’s back to pitching like 2015 Marcus Stroman. In Game Two, Jake Junis—who’s been solid in his rookie campaign—gets to face a Brett Anderson who was designated for assignment by the Cubs on August 4. He has shown marked improvement since coming over to Toronto, but on the year, he holds a 5.73 ERA, 4.32 FIP, 4.13 xFIP, and 4.76 SIERA in 44.1 brief innings. As for the Jason Vargas/J.A. Happ tilt, it isn’t May anymore. Does anyone go into a Jason Vargas start hoping for good things to happen at this juncture?

Toronto Blue Jays 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
Josh Donaldson 3B 450 30 59 71 2 .268 .391 .558 .399 150 4.4 4.4
Justin Smoak (S) 1B 593 38 82 89 0 .278 .361 .550 .381 138 3.6 3.2
Kevin Pillar CF 599 16 68 42 14 .258 .304 .411 .306 87 2.1 3.0
Russell Martin C 340 12 47 28 1 .223 .351 .382 .326 101 1.8 1.7
Ezequiel Carrera (L) OF 309 8 37 20 9 .289 .362 .429 .342 111 0.8 -0.2
Raffy Lopez (L) C 53 3 8 10 0 .222 .327 .444 .332 105 0.3 0.2
Teoscar Hernández OF 46 2 6 7 0 .279 .304 .512 .338 108 0.2 0.1
Michael Saunders (L) LF/RF 12 0 0 1 0 .300 .417 .300 .335 106 0.2 0.0
Steve Pearce LF 348 13 38 37 0 .252 .319 .438 .322 98 0.0 -0.1
Richard Ureña (S) IF 60 1 4 4 1 .222 .288 .333 .274 65 0.0 -0.2
José Bautista RF 640 22 87 60 6 .207 .314 .375 .301 83 -0.1 -1.6
Rob Refsnyder 2B 48 0 2 0 2 .195 .298 .220 .236 39 -0.3 -0.1
Luke Maile C 129 2 9 7 1 .138 .171 .220 .171 -5 -0.7 -0.2
Miguel Montero C 92 2 11 8 0 .138 .239 .250 .224 31 -0.7 -0.7
Kendrys Morales (S) DH 574 27 65 80 0 .249 .305 .450 .319 96 -0.7 -0.3
Ryan Goins SS 424 7 30 54 3 .226 .279 .335 .268 61 -0.7 -0.6
Darwin Barney 2B 327 4 30 20 7 .233 .269 .317 .256 53 -0.8 -0.9

There have been A LOT of sub-par performances on the season for these Blue Jays. There are so many sub-replacement-level players on the year that the bottom of the roster could easily be confused for a mid-2000s Royals club. Really, only Josh Donaldson, Justin Smoak, and defense-first Kevin Pillar have been average or better. These are not the Blue Jays of two years ago. Of course, neither are the Royals.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in Toronto?

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    Royals sweep
    (15 votes)
  • 32%
    Royals take two of three
    (23 votes)
  • 32%
    Blue Jays take two of three
    (23 votes)
  • 12%
    Blue Jays sweep
    (9 votes)
70 votes total Vote Now

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

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