Guardians (45-44) vs. Royals (25-65) Game Preview | Sunday 7/9

July 9, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Kansas City Royals

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Royals:

1 – Bieber 

Shane Bieber will toe it up on Sunday and is hoping to get his first victory since his June 11th over Houston.  Bieber did well last time against KC throwing a two-hitter over six innings.  

2 – Naylor and Rosario on fire 

Josh Naylor is having a fantastic series for the Guards, coming into Sunday he is 7 for 13 with 1 HR and 4 RBIs.    

Amed Rosario is enjoying the month of July altogether.  In the month of July, he is batting .351 with a home run and twelve RBIs.  

3 – MLB Draft 

Sunday kicks off the MLB Draft and Cleveland has three picks in the first two rounds (23, 58, 62).  The first round of the draft can be seen on ESPN 7p EST.


Guardians Notes

On Sunday, Shane Bieber will be given the opportunity to start for the Guardians. However, in his most recent performance against the Braves, Bieber did not perform at his best, allowing four runs and walking five batters in 4.2 innings. Despite his struggles, he managed to avoid a decision in a game that the Guardians ultimately lost. Lately, the experienced ace has encountered some difficulties, struggling in three out of his last four outings. Nonetheless, he has maintained a solid 3.66 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP, accompanied by a 5-5 record in 110.2 innings pitched. Throughout his career, Bieber has been dominant against the Royals, boasting a 2.80 ERA and an undefeated 6-0 record in 80.1 innings against them.

Before facing the Braves and suffering two losses in three home games, Cleveland had won two consecutive series. Unfortunately, they were unable to contain the Braves, who scored a total of 17 runs in the series. The Guardians have achieved a 6-4 record in their last ten games and currently sit only half a game behind the top spot in the AL Central division.

Amed Rosario has been the most productive batter in the Guardians lineup, accumulating an impressive 11 RBIs this month. Prior to this outstanding stretch, the 27-year-old shortstop had been having a disappointing season, with 33 RBIs and a below-average .668 OPS overall. Against the Royals, Rosario has a record of 4 hits in 21 at-bats, with one RBI.

In terms of offensive performance, Cleveland has averaged 4.02 runs per game this season, ranking them 27th in the league. However, their pitching has been a strong suit, as the team has recorded a respectable 3.78 ERA, placing them fifth overall.

Guardians Stats and Insights

GUARDIANS PROBABLE PITCHER – Shane Bieber

  • Cleveland starter Shane Bieber enters with an overall record of 5-5 and ERA of 3.66. His ERA on the road is 4.76 and 3.32 when pitching at home. Bieber’s season-long WHIP comes in at 1.24 with a batting average allowed of .239. Opposing teams have put together a slugging percentage of .384 against him.
  • Giving up four runs and six hits during his last appearance against the Braves, Shane Bieber did not factor into the decision. Yet, the Guardians managed to win the game by a score of 6-5.

GUARDIANS HITTING TRENDS

  • The Guardians have hit the fewest home runs in MLB action this season (60).
  • Cleveland’s .250 batting average ranks 15th in MLB.
  • The Guardians’ .314 on-base percentage is 22nd in baseball.
  • Cleveland strikes out 7.1 times per game, the second-fewest average in the majors.
  • The Guardians average 0.6 homers per home game this season (28 total at home).
  • Cleveland has a .385 slugging percentage and is averaging 3.0 extra-base hits per game at home.
  • The team averages 8.3 hits per game and is batting .251 at home this season.

Royals Notes

In this upcoming game, the Royals will have Ryan Yarbrough back on the mound after his return from the IL. Despite a rough season, Yarbrough showed promise in his latest outing against the A’s, allowing only one run in 5.1 innings. With a 6.15 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP this season, the veteran southpaw aims to contain the Guardians, having recorded a 1.86 ERA in 19.1 career innings against them. However, the Royals’ bullpen has struggled, with a 5.08 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP overall.

The Royals, concluding a road trip, recently experienced a mixed performance, securing a notable series win against the Dodgers but being swept by Minnesota, conceding 22 runs in the process. They enter the game on a six-game road losing streak and hold a 3-7 record in their last ten matchups. Offensively, they have been slumping, managing only one run in their last three games.

Despite the team’s struggles, Bobby Witt Jr. has been a standout player, tallying seven RBIs in his last seven games. The 23-year-old shortstop boasts 13 homers, 45 RBIs, and a .718 OPS, making him the Royals’ top performer. However, Witt Jr. has struggled against the Guardians this season, going 3 for 19 with zero RBIs.

The Royals’ offensive struggles are reflected in their average of 3.67 runs per game, ranking them 29th in the league. Additionally, their pitching staff has struggled, holding a 5.26 team ERA, placing them 28th.

Royals Stats and Insights

ROYALS PROBABLE PITCHER – LHP Ryan Yarbrough

  • Starter Ryan Yarbrough comes in with an overall record of 1-4 for the Royals. Having made 10 appearances, his ERA is 6.15 and he has a K/9 figure of 0.5. Additionally, he has a FIP of 5.18 and an OBP of .342.
  • Kansas City is hoping that Ryan Yarbrough can help guide them to another win, as they defeated the Athletics (5-1) the last time he pitched. He finished the game with one earned run on three hits across 5 2/3 innings.

ROYALS HITTING TRENDS

  • The Royals’ 77 home runs rank 28th in MLB this season.
  • Kansas City has a team batting average of just .231 this season, which ranks 27th among MLB teams.
  • The Royals are among the worst in the league at getting on base, ranking last with an OBP of .294.
  • Kansas City ranks 25th in strikeouts per game (9.1) among MLB offenses.
  • In 46 games on the road this season, they’ve hit 37 homers, an average of 0.8 per contest.
  • Kansas City has a team slugging percentage of .356 in away games this season with 120 extra-base hits.
  • In away games this season, they’re batting .223 with 7.5 base hits per contest.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Kansas City Royals are currently facing a series of challenges, having suffered a five-game losing streak leading up to Saturday’s game. This includes two losses in the opening matches of their current series. Ryan Yarbrough, the Royals’ starting pitcher, is making his first appearance since May, but he has struggled to find his rhythm, evident in his high 6.15 ERA. On the other hand, the Cleveland Guardians have been performing well, winning two out of their last three series.

Adding to the Guardians’ advantage is their starting pitcher, Shane Bieber, who is expected to dominate in this upcoming game. Bieber recently delivered an impressive performance against the Royals, throwing six shutout innings in late June. Throughout his career, he has consistently silenced his rivals, boasting a remarkable 2.80 ERA and an undefeated 6-0 record against them. Additionally, Bieber has maintained a solid 3.02 ERA when pitching at home.

Our Pick: Take Guardians -1.5 Runs

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