Guardians (43-44) vs. Royals (25-63) Game Preview | Friday 7/7 7:10 PM. EST.

July 7, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 of 4 Against the Kansas City Royals

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Royals:

1 – Welcome Back 

Josh Naylor was back in action after missing two games with tendinitis in his right wrist.  Naylor went 2 for 4 with a home run and an RBI. 

2 – Cal Quantrill IL 

After coming off the IL, Cal Quantrill made two starts and is back on the 15-day IL with shoulder inflammation it was announced on Thursday.  Quantrill has a 2-6 record, with four losses in his last four starts with an 6.45 ERA. No timetable for his return. 

3 – Civale 

Aaron Civale toes the mound for the Guards tonight. Civale has not won since June 8th against Boston, but he has the best ERA for all Guardians starters at 2.96.

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians’ offensive statistics show a team slugging percentage of .371 and an average of 4.01 runs per game, which ranks 27th in baseball. They have hit 156 doubles, drawn 259 walks, and scored 345 runs. The team has also hit 56 home runs and recorded 320 runs batted in. However, they have struck out 615 times (29th in the league) and accumulated 727 hits. The Guardians’ on-base percentage (OBP) is .313, and their batting average is .248 for the season.

On the pitching side, the Guardians have a team WHIP of 1.269 and a fielding independent pitching (FIP) of 4.17. Their strikeout-to-walk (K/BB) ratio is 7.80, with 674 strikeouts and 264 walks. As a pitching staff, they are ranked 15th in the league in total hits allowed, surrendering 718 hits. They have given up 89 home runs and an average of 4.20 runs per 9 innings (8th in baseball). The Cleveland pitching staff has allowed 361 runs with an earned run average (ERA) of 3.86 (332 earned runs given up).

In terms of bullpen performance, Cleveland’s relievers have entered the game in 44 save opportunities and have successfully converted 27 saves, resulting in a save rate of 61.4% (ranked 16th in baseball). They have utilized 278 relievers throughout the year. The bullpen has seen action in high leverage situations 115 times and has dealt with runners on base on 76 occasions. When inherited base runners are considered, the relievers have allowed 20.0% of them to score out of 95 inherited runners. The Guardians have encountered 92 save situations, earning 46 holds, but have also blown 17 saves.

Defensively, the Cleveland Guardians have turned 57 double plays and boast a fielding percentage of .987, ranking 7th in professional baseball. They have contributed with 797 assists, committed 41 errors, and made 2,323 putouts so far this season. In 6,969 innings played, their defensive efficiency stands at 70.5%, which is the 6th highest in the majors.

Looking at Civale’s professional baseball career, he has given up 365 hits and accumulated 347 strikeouts in 398 innings pitched. He has allowed a total of 175 earned runs and has a WHIP of 1.169, along with a FIP of 4.2. Civale has a K/BB ratio of 3.44 and has faced 1,634 opposing hitters throughout his career. With a career win-loss record of 26-23, he holds an earned run average of 3.95, surrendering an average of 8.2 hits per nine innings.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Civale gets the start for the Guardians, his ninth of the season. He is 2-2 with a 2.96 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 45 2/3 innings pitched.
  • The right-hander’s most recent appearance was on Sunday against the Chicago Cubs, when he threw six innings, surrendering one earned run while allowing three hits.
  • In eight games this season, the 28-year-old has a 2.96 ERA and 6.9 strikeouts per nine innings, while allowing a batting average of .224 to his opponents.
  • Civale is trying to collect his fourth quality start of the year.
  • Civale will aim to pitch five or more innings for his fourth straight appearance. He’s averaging 5.7 frames per outing.
  • In two of his eight total appearances this season he has not allowed an earned run.


  • The Guardians’ 59 home runs rank last in MLB this season.
  • Hitters for Cleveland have combined to rank 26th in MLB with a team slugging percentage of just .373 this season.
  • The Guardians rank 16th in MLB with a .248 team batting average.
  • Cleveland has scored the fourth-fewest runs in the majors this season with just 351 (four per game).
  • The Guardians have an OBP of .312 this season, which ranks 22nd in MLB.
  • Cleveland ranks second in MLB in strikeouts per game with an average of 7.1 whiffs per contest.

Royals Notes

The Kansas City Royals possess a slugging percentage of .371, with 792 strikeouts and 229 walks. They have recorded 311 RBIs and 672 base hits this season, with a batting average of .232. As a team, they have hit 137 doubles and 76 home runs, while scoring 326 runs and maintaining a team on-base percentage of .295. Their average runs per game is 3.8, ranking them 29th in the league.

In terms of pitching, the Royals have a team earned run average (ERA) of 5.29, placing them 28th in the league. They have struck out 697 batters and surrendered 102 home runs and 472 runs, which also ranks 28th. The pitching staff has issued 321 walks, with a fielding independent pitching (FIP) of 4.59. Opposing batters have collected 771 hits against them, resulting in 445 earned runs. The team’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is 2.17, and their pitchers have a WHIP of 1.44.

The Royals’ relief pitchers have achieved a 50.0% save rate, appearing in 49 save situations. They have inherited 99 baserunners, and 39.4% of them have scored. The relievers have entered the game with runners on base 59 times and have made 71 high leverage appearances. Throughout the season, 286 relievers have taken the mound for the Royals. They have recorded a total of 25 holds (28th in baseball), 12 saves, and have blown 12 out of 24 save opportunities.

Defensively, the Kansas City Royals have made 2,272 putouts, 729 assists, and committed 42 errors. Their fielding rate stands at .986, ranking 13th in the majors. They have turned 64 double plays and have converted 67.9% of balls hit into play into outs, placing them 24th in baseball over 6,816 innings.

In terms of individual performance, Lynch has a career win-loss record of 10-22. He has a FIP of 4.72 and has faced 1,086 hitters in the major leagues. Lynch has allowed 273 hits (10.2 hits per 9 innings) and issued 96 walks. His earned run average stands at 5.12, with 137 earned runs allowed, and a WHIP of 1.531. He has pitched for 241 innings and has recorded 205 strikeouts in his career so far.

Royals Stats and Insights


  • Lynch (2-3 with a 4.14 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 41 1/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Royals, his eighth of the season.
  • In his last appearance on Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, the left-hander went five innings, allowing three earned runs while surrendering five hits.
  • The 26-year-old has an ERA of 4.14, with 6.1 strikeouts per nine innings in seven games this season. Opponents have a .239 batting average against him.
  • Lynch is trying to secure his fourth quality start of the season.
  • Lynch will look to last five or more innings for his eighth straight appearance. He’s averaging 5.9 frames per outing.
  • In one of his appearances this season he has not surrender an earned run.


  • The Royals have hit 76 home runs this season, the third-lowest total in baseball.
  • So far this season, Kansas City has the third-lowest slugging percentage in baseball (.369).
  • The Royals rank 25th in MLB with a .232 batting average.
  • The offense for Kansas City is No. 29 in MLB play scoring 3.7 runs per game (327 total runs).
  • The Royals’ .295 on-base percentage is the worst in baseball.

Final Thoughts/Pick

Even though neither team will have a top-tier starting pitcher on Friday, I believe the under bet is the way to go for this game. Ultimately, both teams rank among the poorest performers in the major leagues in terms of runs per game, OPS, and home runs. They also have below-average batting averages, so it’s unlikely they will consistently generate runs during the game. In their recent home games, Cleveland has only managed to score more than four runs once, and Kansas City has been limited to four or fewer runs in their last three away games. Moreover, both teams have a track record this season of favoring the under in terms of the over/under split.

Our Pick: Take Under 8.5 Runs

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