Guardians (50-51) vs. Royals (29-74) Game Preview | Wednesday 7/26 1:10 PM

July 26, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Kansas City Royals

3 Things Preview Guardians vs. Royals:

1 – Gaga for Gavin

Rookie Gavin Williams will be on the bump today for the Guardians and looking to repeat his winning performance against the Royals in early July.  

2 – Bullpen Rest 

Since the bullpen game on Sunday against Philly, the Guardians have only used four pitchers giving the bullpen some much-needed rest.  The only bullpen arms used in the series with the Royals have been Daniel Norris and Emmanuel Clase

3 – Season Series 

With a win today, the Guardians will win the season series with the Royals.  The last time Cleveland lost a season series to Kansas City was in 2015, the year the Royals won the World Series. 

Guardians Notes

On Wednesday, the nod will go to Gavin Williams, who managed to avoid trouble in his previous outing. Despite issuing four walks in four innings against the Phillies, he only conceded one run, leading to a no-decision in a game that the Guardians ultimately won. As a promising rookie right-hander and one of the top prospects for the Guardians, Williams has showcased his talent with a 3.74 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP, holding a 1-2 record over 33.2 innings. Impressively, he has limited the Royals to just three runs over 10.2 innings.

Cleveland’s performance has been somewhat inconsistent lately. They achieved back-to-back series victories by winning two out of three games against the Pirates and Phillies. However, they stumbled in Monday’s series opener, resulting in a four-game deficit in the AL Central standings. The Guardians’ offense had struggled for much of the season, but in recent times, they have been one of the higher-scoring teams this month. Their last ten games have yielded a 5-5 record.

When it comes to facing the Royals, Jose Ramirez has been a formidable opponent, driving in seven runs and boasting an impressive 1.04 OPS. However, he has experienced a slight dip in performance lately, managing only three RBIs in his last ten games, which brings his season total to 56 RBIs along with a .844 OPS.

Cleveland’s offensive output has averaged 4.15 runs per game, ranking them 25th in the league. However, their pitching has been a strong suit, with a team ERA of 3.89, positioning them at a respectable ninth place in the league.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Williams’ team is 2-4-0 against the spread this season in his starts.
  • The right-hander gave up one earned run in four innings pitched on Friday in his last outing, a matchup with the Philadelphia Phillies.
  • Williams has five starts of five or more innings this season in six chances. He averages 5.5 innings per outing.
  • He has one appearance this season with zero earned runs allowed out of his six chances this season.
  • Williams and his team have won each of the three games he’s started as the moneyline favorite.
  • Williams’ team has won four of his six starts this season.
  • Games Williams has started this season hit the over three times in six chances.


  • The Guardians have a 14-5 record this season in games when they belt at least two home runs.
  • Cleveland has gone 15-5 in its 20 games this season with at least five extra-base hits.
  • The club has totaled at least eight hits in 64 games this season, and is 35-29 in those contests.
  • Cleveland is 30-8 in games this season when it scored at least five runs.
  • The Guardians are 13-9 in games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Royals Notes

Alec Marsh will take the mound to conclude the series, but his recent performance has been less than ideal. In his last outing against the Yankees, Marsh struggled, giving up five runs on five hits in 5.1 innings, resulting in another loss for him. So far this season, the rookie has had a tough time in two out of four games, conceding eight home runs with a 6.20 ERA and a 1.43 WHIP. Unfortunately, he has yet to secure a victory, holding an 0-4 record in the 21 innings he has pitched.

The Royals are experiencing a disappointing season, showing little improvement as a young squad. They suffered a setback by losing three out of four home games against the Tigers, followed by a road sweep by the Yankees before this series. Their recent struggles are evident as they allowed 18 runs against the Yankees and have only managed to win three out of their last ten games.

On the positive side, Bobby Witt Jr. has been a standout performer against the Guardians’ pitching, boasting an impressive .901 OPS. As the squad’s best hitter, the 23-year-old has contributed significantly with 16 home runs and 51 RBIs, maintaining a decent .740 OPS. However, his performance has dipped slightly in the last ten games, managing only four RBIs during that period.

Offensively, the Royals are struggling, averaging just 3.70 runs per game, ranking them 29th among all teams. Their pitching staff hasn’t fared much better, reporting a team ERA of 5.23, which places them 28th in the league.

Royals Stats and Insights


  • Marsh gets the start for the Royals, his fifth of the season. He is 0-4 with a 6.20 ERA and 24 strikeouts over 20 1/3 innings pitched.
  • The right-hander last pitched on Friday against the New York Yankees, when he threw 5 1/3 innings, allowing five earned runs while giving up five hits.
  • Marsh will try to last five or more innings for his fourth straight appearance. He’s averaging 5.0 frames per outing.
  • The Royals were named the moneyline underdog for four Marsh starts this season — they lost every time.
  • Marsh’s four starts have all been losses for his team this season.
  • Marsh’s starts hit the over on the run total two times in four games with a set total this season.


  • They’ve hit two or more homers in 23 games this season and are 8-15 in those matchups.
  • In 24 games with five or more extra-base hits this season, it has a record of 10-14.
  • In 56 games this season with eight or more hits, they have a record of 21-35.
  • In 31 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 19-12.
  • They have won three of their 14 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Royals continue to stumble, losing seven of their last ten games. The Cleveland Guardians have won six of the nine meetings against the Royals and are in a groove, winning back-to-back series against the Pirates and Phillies and posted a 5-1 win on Tuesday.

Furthermore, Royals’ starter Alec Marsh is an inexperienced rookie having issues in the big leagues, squandering 15 runs in 20 innings. What’s even more concerning is the home runs, conceding eight homers in those four starts. Guardians’ starter Gavin Williams is keeping opponents in check, allowing just three runs in his last two outings spanning nine innings. 

Our Pick: Take Guardians Run Line -1.5

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