You’re probably aware at this point that the Royals are more than 60% through with their season and have yet to complete a series sweep. On the other hand, they have been swept a whopping nine times. What you may not realize is that they also haven’t won three consecutive games in any other configuration to this point. They will attempt to accomplish both feats today.
On the mound for KC will be Ryan Yarbrough. Yarbrough was something of an afterthought as a free agent signing this past off-season but he’s been quite serviceable as a swing man for the Royals. Leaps and bounds better than the big free agent signing, Jordan Lyles, and even better than fan favorite Zack Greinke. Depending on how you look at it, you might even consider him the Royals’ best starting pitcher this season, 4.70 ERA and all.
Since returning from his injury, he’s been even better. He’s made three starts to the tune of a 2.55 ERA with a 10-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio. If the Royals play their hands right, he might even be a decent trade chip as the deadline approaches in a couple of days.
The Royals keep telling us it doesn't make sense to spend in free agency given the state of the team. But somehow it makes sense to only trade for guys who can immediately contribute to the team? Really? https://t.co/87CsiswpKl— Ishoxuk (CP: Final Fantasy XVI) (@Hokius) July 30, 2023
The Twins will send out right-hander Kenta Maeda. Maeda made the leap from the NPB to the MLB in 2016 and he’s been a reliable, though not spectacular, starter for the Dodgers and then the Twins ever since. He’s been hurt a fair bit this year, but when he’s pitched he has been adequate.
The Royals fun and games without a first-baseman continue. Nicky Lopez, batting ninth, will man the slow corner this afternoon. I guess the Royals are still showcasing his positional flexibility ahead of the deadline. It’s a bold strategy, Cotton.