Guardians (72-79) vs Royals (49-102) Match-Up Preview | 9/19 7:40 PM EST

September 19, 2023

Andy Billman

Game 2 of the Series Against the Kansas City Royals

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Lefty Logan 

Logan Allen will be on the bump, looking to turn it around after yesterday’s collapse.  In his last two starts, Allen has only given up two runs. 

2 – Stephan

The month of September has not been kind to Trevor Stephan. Stephan has an ERA of 12.79 with a 0-3 record.  Yikes!

3 – Silly Willy

Will Brennan is having a good month of September batting at a .347 average. 

Guardians Notes

With Minnesota’s magic number now reduced to just five following Cleveland’s early Monday defeat, the clock is ticking for this team. Throughout the entire year, they had opportunities, but their offense, ranking 27th in runs per game, never really found its rhythm. The main culprit appears to be their lackluster home run production, which is the lowest in the majors. Cleveland hasn’t been able to resolve this primary issue since 2022. They may not strike out often, steal plenty of bases, and maintain a respectable team batting average, but the absence of power (or walks) continues to haunt them. Fortunately, they now have a clear focus for the upcoming offseason.

Pitching, on the other hand, seems to be a constant strength for the Guardians. Young pitchers consistently step up and deliver when called upon by Cleveland. One of these promising youngsters is rookie lefty Logan Allen, who is set to make his 24th career start (all in this season) on Tuesday. Of his first 23 starts, two were against the Royals, resulting in five runs allowed (four earned) over 10.2 innings. On the road, he boasts a solid 3.23 ERA and has recently strung together consecutive starts where he held opposing teams to just one run. With a reliable bullpen backing them up, the Guardians have the capability to stifle the Royals.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Allen and his team have a record of 16-7-0 against the spread when he starts.
  • The left-hander last pitched on Wednesday, when he gave up one earned run and allowed five hits in five innings against the San Francisco Giants.
  • Allen has three starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • In 23 appearances this season, he has finished five without allowing an earned run.
  • Allen’s team is 6-4 this season when he starts and they are the moneyline favorite.
  • Allen’s team is 14-9 when he starts this season.
  • Games started by Allen have a 10-11-2 record at hitting the over this season.


  • The Guardians are 21-8 this season in games when they hit two or more bombs.
  • Cleveland is 20-6 in games this season when it has had five or more extra-base hits.
  • The club is 49-44 in the games this season it has strung together eight or more hits.
  • Cleveland has a 42-14 record in games this season when it put up five or more runs.
  • The Guardians are 20-17 in games this season when they have drawn at least five walks.

Royals Notes

Kansas City’s offensive struggles are well-documented, but it’s their equally ineffective pitching staff that has contributed to their battle for the MLB’s worst record. The bullpen, in particular, has been a major concern, especially since the departure of Aroldis Chapman. Their groundball rate ranks 24th, and their FIP sits at 25th in the league. When it comes to key metrics like WAR, ERA, and left-on-base percentage (LOB%), they consistently rank 27th or worse league-wide. In the upcoming game, reliever Steven Cruz is set to start, which means Royals fans might see a heavy dose of the struggling bullpen. While Cruz has shown promise with 6.1 consecutive scoreless innings after a rough debut, he’s likely to handle only a few innings if everything goes perfectly. Setting the tone early will be crucial to the game’s outcome.

Turning our attention back to the offense, the Royals have managed to climb to 26th in runs per game this year, surpassing Cleveland. However, their performance at the plate remains lackluster. They rank 29th in walk rate and 28th in on-base percentage (OBP). Additionally, their home run tally and slugging percentage are among the lowest in MLB’s offensive rankings. Surprisingly, September has been somewhat kind to Kansas City, as they’ve been averaging 5.57 runs per game (6th) midway through the month. With just a few weeks left in the season, they might push hard to finish on a positive note.

Royals Stats and Insights


  • Cruz (0-0) takes the mound first for the Royals to make his second start of the season.
  • The righty last pitched on Wednesday against the Chicago White Sox, when he tossed two scoreless innings while giving up two hits.
  • He is trying to keep a streak of five games without surrendering an earned run intact.
  • The Royals were named the moneyline underdog for one Cruz start this season — they won.
  • His team has won the only matchup he’s made an appearance in this season.
  • Cruz’s only start with a total this season went under.


  • They have won 20 of the 38 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Kansas City has won 17 of its 34 games with five or more extra-base hits this season.
  • They have won 37 of the 84 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • In 51 games this season with five or more runs scored, it has posted a record of 34-17.
  • They have won seven of their 20 games this season in which they’ve drawn more than four free passes.

Final Thoughts/Pick

The Royals are enjoying a strong September, averaging nearly six runs per game following their 6-4 victory on Monday. Kansas City clearly outperforms Cleveland in offensive production, and their numbers see a significant boost when they play at home. In Logan Allen’s last encounter with the Royals, he surrendered five runs (four of which were earned) in Cleveland. Now, with the game taking place at The K (Kansas City’s home stadium), the Royals are poised to capitalize once more, especially considering their recent strong form at the plate.

The responsibility of neutralizing one of MLB’s weakest offenses falls on the pitching staff. Fortunately, this seems like an attainable task, with Steven Cruz taking the mound as the opener. Cruz should be able to keep Cleveland from scoring early, and the subsequent pitching change is likely to put a struggling Cleveland lineup in a difficult position. All signs point to the Royals securing another home victory.

Our Pick: Take Royals and the Money Line

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