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New York Yankees series preview: This could get ugly

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MLB: New York Mets at New York Yankees
Ground control to Major Dong
Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

Even with the Royals playing serviceably against the Twins and Tigers coming out of the All-Star break, it’s hard to fathom this series coming out any way other than badly for the Royals. Four games in hell commence shortly.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Thursday, July 26 — 6:05 PM CDT — Jakob Junis versus Sonny Gray
  • Friday, July 27 — 6:05 PM CDT — Brad Keller versus CC Sabathia (L)
  • Saturday, July 28 — 12:05 PM CDT — Heath Fillmyer versus Luis Severino
  • Sunday, July 29 — 12:05 PM CDT — Burch Smith versus Masahiro Tanaka

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference

Royals at Yankees 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
Jakob Junis 18 105.2 98 21.4 30 6.6 5.03 5.36 4.48 4.12 -0.1 0.5
Sonny Gray 19 96.0 91 21.2 42 9.8 5.34 4.42 4.26 4.37 1.1 -0.2
Game 2
Brad Keller 30 70.1 44 15.1 29 9.9 3.20 3.55 4.35 4.62 1.1 1.9
CC Sabathia (L) 18 100.0 77 17.9 29 6.7 3.51 4.55 4.52 4.45 1.1 1.2
Game 3
Heath Fillmyer 6 22.1 13 14.4 10 11.1 2.82 4.50 4.51 4.74 0.1 0.3
Luis Severino 21 133.1 152 28.8 32 6.1 2.63 2.83 3.09 3.18 4.0 4.4
Game 3
Burch Smith 27 50.0 51 23.6 24 11.1 5.58 5.02 4.57 4.13 -0.1 -0.2
Masahiro Tanaka 16 92.1 92 24.9 23 6.2 4.09 4.58 3.56 3.58 0.9 1.1

So at least one of these pitching matchups doesn’t look like a complete advantage for the Yankees before taking the opposing lineups into consideration. Keller against Sabathia is fairly even on paper. That’s pretty much it. Junis and Gray looks fairly even until you consider that Junis gets to pitch in Yankee Stadium and leads the majors in dongs allowed while accruing 60% of his innings pitched at Kauffman Stadium. This start has Guthrie-level disaster written all over it. The Royals may as well forfeit before Saturday’s game even starts.

New York Yankees 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
Aaron Judge RF 441 26 69 61 6 .283 .397 .550 .402 158 5.0 5.5
Giancarlo Stanton DH 434 23 61 59 3 .282 .350 .516 .366 133 3.1 2.8
Didi Gregorius (L) SS 407 17 59 56 10 .262 .323 .471 .336 112 2.9 2.6
Aaron Hicks (S) CF 333 16 47 44 8 .242 .344 .473 .351 122 2.8 2.8
Brett Gardner (L) LF 383 9 59 33 9 .252 .342 .395 .324 104 2.4 2.9
Gleyber Torres 2B 241 15 30 42 2 .294 .350 .555 .381 143 1.6 2.2
Miguel Andújar 3B 356 12 47 41 1 .292 .326 .500 .351 122 1.4 1.2
Austin Romine C 144 6 18 28 0 .264 .322 .473 .339 114 0.9 1.4
Greg Bird (L) 1B 181 8 15 23 0 .231 .326 .462 .337 113 0.7 0.5
Kyle Higashioka C 33 3 3 4 0 .167 .242 .500 .313 96 0.1 0.0
Tyler Wade (L) Util 57 1 6 5 0 .185 .228 .315 .237 44 -0.2 0.1
Brandon Drury Util 57 1 2 7 0 .176 .263 .275 .245 50 -0.4 -0.4
Neil Walker (S) 1B/2B 228 3 28 22 0 .203 .289 .292 .260 60 -0.6 -0.8

The Yankees are hitting .254/.331/.460 with a .339 wOBA and a 115 wRC+. That wRC+ (which adjusts for park factors) is the best in baseball. Is there any way this won’t be a total disaster?

Poll

How will the Royals fare at Yankee Stadium?

This poll is closed

  • 31%
    Yankees sweep
    (62 votes)
  • 16%
    Yankees sweep
    (32 votes)
  • 37%
    Yankees take three of four
    (74 votes)
  • 15%
    Split
    (31 votes)
199 votes total Vote Now

There can be only one (and that one ain’t the Royals).