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Houston Astros series preview: Here comes trouble

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Kansas City travels to the Juice Box to face the reigning World Champs

Tampa Bay Rays v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

The Houston Astros are absolutely rolling. The Kansas City Royals are in the midst of a miserable month (two wins in June). This has all the makings of a bloodbath.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Friday, June 22 — 7:10 PM CDT — Danny Duffy (L) versus Dallas Keuchel (L)
  • Saturday, June 23 — 6:15 PM CDT — Ian Kennedy versus Lance McCullers Jr.
  • Sunday, June 24 — 1:10 PM CDT — Jason Hammel versus Justin Verlander

All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference and FanGraphs

Royals at Astros 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
Game 1
Danny Duffy (L) 15 82.2 69 18.6 40 10.8 5.55 5.58 5.34 5.07 -0.3 -0.2
Dallas Keuchel (L) 15 91.0 71 18.2 23 5.9 4.15 4.04 3.54 3.80 1.1 0.1
Game 2
Ian Kennedy 15 79.2 75 21.0 31 8.7 5.31 4.70 4.50 4.43 0.5 -0.3
Lance McCullers Jr. 15 88.1 90 24.9 34 9.4 3.77 3.63 3.53 3.74 1.5 0.5
Game 3
Jason Hammel 15 90.1 59 14.8 25 6.3 4.88 4.01 4.83 4.82 1.1 0.0
Justin Verlander 16 107.0 130 32.0 21 5.2 1.60 2.48 3.51 2.95 3.8 3.7

Well, none of these matchups look good for the Royals. Such is this season. Dallas Keuchel is having a down year, but he still obviously possesses an advantage over the 2018 version of Danny Duffy. Lance McCullers Jr. has also been an underachiever on Astros dominant pitching staff, but his stuff is still filthy, and he’ll get to face the Royals’ “offense.” Justin Verlander is pitching better than he ever has in his life, which is a high bar.

Houston Astros position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Jose Altuve 2B 333 7 49 39 11 .347 .401 .495 .386 151 3.4 3.7
George Springer CF 333 15 56 42 5 .279 .355 .486 .363 135 2.4 2.8
Carlos Correa SS 298 13 45 47 2 .270 .352 .488 .356 131 2.4 2.8
Alex Bregman 3B 329 11 44 42 6 .268 .374 .471 .367 138 2.3 2.5
Max Stassi C 139 7 20 21 0 .264 .338 .504 .361 134 1.3 1.3
Marwin Gonzalez (S) Util 257 5 24 33 2 .257 .331 .398 .319 105 0.8 1.7
Josh Reddick (L) RF 195 6 32 20 1 .241 .328 .382 .313 101 0.8 1.1
Evan Gattis DH/C 234 14 30 47 1 .255 .312 .505 .345 123 0.8 1.2
Brian McCann (L) C 156 5 17 17 0 .217 .301 .348 .289 84 0.5 0.7
Tony Kemp (L) OF 97 1 9 11 3 .313 .383 .422 .353 128 0.2 0.6
Yulieski Gurriel 1B 253 2 30 31 2 .300 .324 .396 .312 100 0.1 1.0
Tyler White IF 8 0 0 0 0 .286 .375 .429 .352 128 0.0 0.2
Jake Marisnick OF 136 5 17 15 2 .176 .200 .321 .224 39 -0.1 0.5

Not a single position player below replacement level (per rWAR)? Their riches are embarrassing. Their 15.1 fWAR as a team are third-best amongst all baseball teams. They are slashing .267/.337/.440 with a .336 wOBA and 117 wRC+. The only Royal with a better wRC+ than the entire Astros team combined is Jorge Soler.

Poll

How will the Royals fare in Houston?

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    Poorly
    (23 votes)
  • 26%
    Disastrously
    (25 votes)
  • 50%
    More badder
    (48 votes)
96 votes total Vote Now