The Kansas City Royals travel behind the Iron Curtain to face the St. Petersburg Devil Rays, commencing a four-game series in which the Royals will take the unconventional tack of playing really bad baseball to undermine the importance of the series. As Ned Yost has surely stated behind closed doors, “If you can’t beat them, render the victory meaningless.”
Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:
- Monday, August 20 — 6:10 PM CDT — Jorge López versus Hunter Wood
- Tuesday, August 21 — 6:10 PM CDT — Glenn Sparkman versus Blake Snell (L)
- Wednesday, August 22 — 6:10 PM CDT — Jake Junis versus TBD
- Thursday, August 23 — 6:10 PM CDT — TBD versus Tyler Glasnow
Royals at Devil Rays pitching matchups
|Blake Snell (L)||23||133.0||149||28.5||50||9.6||2.10||3.34||3.54||3.66||2.8||5.1|
We are at the point in the Royals’ season when there are multiple pitchers in the rotation who weren’t on the 25-man roster three weeks ago. Putin would be licking his chops if the Royals’ struggles hadn’t stripped this matchup of every last shred of import. Blake Snell has done President Putin proud this season, ranking third in the majors in ERA amongst qualified pitchers behind Jacob deGrom and Chris Sale. His peripherals suggest that luck has favored him, as the southpaw has a .233 BABIP and 87.4 LOB%, and his 19.0 K-BB% is sterling but good for just the 17th-best mark in baseball. Hunter Wood will play the part of the opener in the first game of the series, a role conceived by Putin in an effort to undermine the meaning of the pitcher win in a strike to the core of the America’s values. Tyler Glasnow has excelled since coming over to St. Petersburg in a deadline deal for Chris Archer. Some of this probably arose from his comfort in being able to go by his real last name, Glasnost. Tyler loves transparency, and that love has unleashed better control, as his walk rate has been slashed since donning the uniform of The Party.
St. Petersburg Devil Rays position players
|Mallex Smith (L)||OF||407||2||48||29||26||.298||.370||.421||.346||122||2.7||2.9|
|Joey Wendle (L)||2B/LF||393||7||41||42||8||.291||.339||.423||.329||110||2.1||2.6|
|Jake Bauers (L)||1B||267||9||35||34||4||.214||.331||.424||.329||110||1.0||0.8|
|Kevin Kiermaier (L)||CF||256||4||30||18||8||.179||.246||.295||.236||47||0.2||0.5|
|Ji-Man Choi (L)||1B/DH||83||3||5||10||1||.247||.325||.438||.330||111||0.1||0.2|
|Michael Perez (L)||C||52||1||5||4||0||.292||.327||.417||.320||104||0.1||0.1|
|Brandon Lowe (L)||2B/LF||34||0||0||2||0||.103||.235||.138||.191||15||-0.3||-0.3|
The Devil Rays position players have accumulated 13.9 fWAR, ranking 17th in the game. They’ve slashed .251/.324/.391 with a .313 wOBA and 99 wRC+. That they’ve been below league average is a problem for Putin, which means it’s a problem for the Devil Rays. With the opportunity to face the dismal Royals’ pitching staff, they could very easily end up back on the right side of 100 for that wRC+.
How will the Royals fare in Russia?
This poll is closed
Royals take three of four
Devil Rays take three of four
Devil Rays sweep