Though they’ve gotten off to a slow start, this is still pretty much the same Cleveland club that has taken the American League Central crown the last two years. Gone is Carlos Santana. Enter Yonder Alonso. Other than that? There’s little new to consider with this team.
The slow start—18-18—isn’t that dissimilar from what they did last year when they were still playing .500 ball at the game 62 mark before going on a second-half tear.
Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:
- Friday, May 11 — 6:10 PM CDT — Jason Hammel versus Tyler Bauer
- Saturday, May 12 — 3:10 PM CDT — Jake Junis versus Mike Clevinger
- Sunday, May 13 — 12:10 PM CDT — Danny Duffy (L) versus Corey Kluber
Kansas City at Cleveland pitching matchups
|Danny Duffy (L)||8||43.2||39||20.0||17||8.7||5.15||5.52||4.84||4.60||-0.1||0.2|
This rotation might still be really good. The Royals draw the three best Cleveland starters this series. Trevor Bauer—er, Tyler—made some waves in the past few weeks talking about pine tar and spin rates. Thus far this season, Bauer has been beneficiary of a .239 BABIP and a 7.1 HR/FB%. Both of these figures point to the UCLA product being a bit on the lucky side of things thus far.
Mike Clevinger has seen both his K and walk rates drop this season, though his K-BB% is only 1.3% lower than his 15.3% mark last season. His velo is up this year, and he doesn’t appear to be deviating much from how he pitched last year, though his ground-ball rate is up this year.
Corey Kluber has yielded an uncharacteristically high 10 dongs in his eight starts. His 20.8 HR/FB% is well above his 11.4% career mark, so it stands to reason that the home runs won’t continue to plague him (comparatively, at least). Other than the dongs being hung, Kluber’s been pretty Klubery.
Cleveland position players
|José Ramírez (S)||3B||158||10||23||22||5||0.283||0.373||0.572||0.401||150||2.2||2.3|
|Francisco Lindor (S)||SS||171||10||28||22||5||0.292||0.355||0.558||0.388||142||2.2||2.1|
|Tyler Naquin (L)||RF||77||2||8||9||0||0.329||0.364||0.438||0.347||115||0.5||0.9|
|Michael Brantley (L)||LF||111||3||10||18||1||0.324||0.36||0.52||0.374||133||0.5||0.0|
|Bradley Zimmer (L)||CF||106||2||14||9||4||0.224||0.283||0.337||0.275||67||0.4||0.1|
|Lonnie Chisenhall (L) DL||OF||21||0||3||0||1||0.235||0.381||0.294||0.301||84||-0.1||-0.2|
|Greg Allen (S)||OF||4||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||-100||-0.1||-0.2|
|Jason Kipnis (L)||2B||161||1||17||13||0||0.181||0.256||0.264||0.237||41||-0.4||-0.5|
Early on, it looks like José Ramírez and Francisco Lindor are fueling the Cleveland attack. The clubs as a whole is slashing .242/.309/.423 with a .318 wOBA and 95 wRC+. Their offense has been roughly as bad as the Royals’ (94 wRC+). Cleveland’s defense is what has bailed them out, holding a 14 DRS (fourth in MLB) and 13.7 UZR (best in MLB).
How will the Royals fare in Cleveland?
This poll is closed
Royals take two of three
Cleveland takes two of three