Guardians (49-50) vs. Royals (28-73) Game Preview | Monday 7/24 7:10 PM

July 24, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 1 of 3 Against the Kansas City Royals

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Royals:

1 – Lefty Logan 

Logan Allen toes the mound looking for back-to-back wins.  Allen in his last start against Kansas City was only able to go 3 2/3 innings back on June 28th, so he will be looking to hopefully go at least five with the bullpen game on Sunday. On the bump for the Royals is lefty Ryan Yarbrough who gave fits to the Guards in his last start getting the win back on July 9th while only giving up one earned over six strong. 

2 –  Kwan Lovin July

Steven Kwan is loving the month of July hitting an average of .333 so far in July and Kwan has raised his batting average over 10 points since the all-star break. 

3 – Hentges Hating July

On the opposite feeling for the month of July is Sam Hentges, who currently has an ERA of 17.55 in the month of July.  His ERA has jumped from 3.05 at the start of the month to 6.75 currently. 

Guardians Notes

The Cleveland Guardians possess a team slugging percentage of .382 and score an average of 4.15 runs per game, ranking 25th in MLB. Throughout the season, they have recorded 182 doubles and earned 288 free bases, resulting in 407 total runs scored. In terms of hitting power, the team has achieved 71 home runs and 381 RBIs. However, they also hold the unfortunate distinction of ranking 30th in MLB for strikeouts, with 688 instances, while accumulating a total of 847 hits. The Guardians’ on-base percentage stands at .315, and their team batting average is .253 for the current season.

On the pitching side, the Guardians maintain a team WHIP of 1.263 and a collective FIP of 4.11 this year. They rank 14th in the league for total hits conceded with 806. The Cleveland pitching staff has allowed 405 runs and has a team ERA of 3.85 (376 earned runs conceded). Their impressive strikeout-to-walk ratio is 8.00 (781 strikeouts against 303 walks). Nevertheless, they have given up 99 home runs and allowed an average of 4.15 runs per 9 innings, which puts them in 4th place in baseball.

When it comes to the bullpen, the Guardians have called on relief pitchers in 50 save opportunities and have successfully earned 30 saves, resulting in a save percentage of 60.0%, ranking 20th in MLB. They have deployed 321 relievers onto the field throughout the season. In high-leverage situations, the relief pitchers have been brought in 127 times, and on 88 occasions with runners on base. The inherited score rate for the Cleveland relief pitchers is 23.0% out of 113 inherited runners. With a total of 111 save situations, the Guardians have recorded 57 holds and 20 blown saves.

Making his 14th start of the season in this game, Logan Allen, the promising left-handed rookie, will take the mound for the Guardians. With a solid record of 4-2 and an impressive 3.21 ERA, along with a 1.366 WHIP, he has shown his potential on the field. Throughout the season, Allen has recorded 25 walks and an impressive 71 strikeouts over 67.1 innings of work.

In his most recent start against the Pirates on the road, Allen was outstanding, earning a well-deserved win. He pitched five innings, allowing no runs on just one hit, while striking out eight and walking only one. The Guardians dominated the game, finishing with a convincing 10-1 victory. Over his last three starts, Allen has been in top form, boasting an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.95. During this period, he managed to strike out 18 batters and allowed only six walks over 12.2 innings.

In his previous encounter with the Royals on June 28, which was an away game, Allen put on a strong performance but didn’t factor into the decision. He pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, giving up three hits while striking out five and issuing two walks. The Guardians, however, secured a dominant 14-1 win that day.

Looking at Allen’s overall performance at Progressive Field, he has made six career starts there. In those games, he holds a record of 1-1, with an ERA of 3.94 and a WHIP of 1.531. Throughout 32 innings of work at that venue, Allen has faced 11 walks and managed 29 strikeouts.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Allen and his team have a record of 10-3-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The left-hander did not allow a run in five innings pitched on Tuesday in his last outing, a matchup with the Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Allen has nine starts of five or more innings this season in 13 chances. He averages 5.2 innings per outing.
  • He has kept opponents from scoring an earned run in three straight appearances.
  • Allen’s team has been victorious in 66.7% of the games he’s started as the money line favorite with a record of 4-2.
  • In games Allen has started, his team is 10-3.
  • In games Allen has started this season, the teams are 6-6-1 at hitting the over.


  • The Guardians have a 13-5 record in games this season when they hit at least two home runs.
  • Cleveland is 14-5 in games this season when it has had at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club has racked up eight or more hits 62 times this season, and has a 34-28 record in those games.
  • Cleveland has a 29-8 record in games this season when it scored five or more runs.
  • The Guardians are 13-9 in games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Royals Notes

Kansas City suffered their fourth consecutive defeat when they faced the Yankees on Saturday afternoon, marking their second loss in a row against the same team. As of Sunday, the Royals were sitting at the bottom of the AL Central with a disappointing 28-72 record, placing them 24 games behind the leading Twins. Their hopes of securing the final wild-card spot in the American League were slim, trailing the Blue Jays by a substantial margin of 26.5 games.

During Saturday’s game, Bobby Witt Jr. and Edward Olivares both managed to contribute with two hits each, with Olivares scoring a run. However, their efforts were not enough to secure a victory. Brady Singer, who pitched for six innings, allowed two runs on five hits while walking one and striking out nine, but he didn’t factor into the decision. The relief pitcher Carlos Hernandez (0-6) ended up with the loss, allowing one run on one hit, with one strikeout and no walks in one inning of work.

Looking ahead to the next game, the Royals will have Ryan Yarbrough on the mound. This will be his 13th appearance and sixth start of the season. So far, Yarbrough has achieved a record of 2-5 with a 5.21 ERA, and a 1.263 WHIP, and has registered nine walks and 23 strikeouts over 38 innings. In his previous start against the Tigers at home, he took a loss, pitching 5.2 innings and conceding three runs on six hits, with one walk and four strikeouts in a 3-2 defeat for the Royals. However, his recent performances have been more promising, with a 2-1 record in his last three starts, boasting a 2.60 ERA, a 0.98 WHIP, and recording two walks and 11 strikeouts over 17.1 innings.

Yarbrough has faced the Guardians a few times before, making this his fifth career appearance and fourth start against them. Impressively, he remains undefeated in those encounters, holding a 3-0 record with a 1.78 ERA, a 0.829 WHIP, four walks, and 18 strikeouts over 25.1 innings of work. Notably, Yarbrough has excelled at Progressive Field, where this upcoming game will take place, maintaining the same 3-0 record with a 1.78 WHIP, a 0.829 WHIP, four walks, and 18 strikeouts over 25.1 innings in four career outings, three of which were starts.

Royals Stats and Insights


  • Yarbrough (2-5 with a 5.21 ERA and 23 strikeouts in 38 2/3 innings pitched) makes the start for the Royals, his sixth of the season.
  • His last appearance came on Thursday against the Detroit Tigers, when the left-hander went 5 2/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs while allowing six hits.
  • Yarbrough will aim to pitch five or more innings for his fourth straight appearance. He’s averaging 3.2 frames per outing.
  • He has had three appearances this season that he held his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Royals are 2-3 in Yarbrough’s five starts this season they were the underdog on the money line.
  • Yarbrough’s team has put together a 2-3 record over his five starts.
  • Yarbrough has had five starts with a set total this season, and the teams combined to go over the total in one of those matchups.


  • They are 7-15 this season when they hit two or more home runs in a game.
  • In 24 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 10-14.
  • They have a record of 21-35 this season when collecting eight or more base hits in a game.
  • Kansas City has won 18 of its 30 games this season in which it scored more than four runs.
  • In 14 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 3-11

Final Thoughts/Pick

Throughout the season, the Royals have encountered significant struggles, especially when facing the Guardians. Out of their seven meetings, they have lost five. Despite Yarbrough’s inspiring return from facial fractures earlier in the season, he has been facing challenges in retiring hitters during crucial moments. On the other hand, Allen, a rookie, has proven himself admirably while being thrust into the rotation due to injuries to McKenzie, Quantrill, and Civale.

The Guardians, in contrast, are riding a wave of momentum with four wins in their last five games leading up to Sunday’s match. Additionally, they find themselves within striking distance in the less competitive AL Central division. Taking all these factors into account, Cleveland is expected to handle their business effectively and secure a victory in the opening game of the series.

Our Pick: Take Guardians Run Line -1.5

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