Guardians (72-80) vs Royals (50-102) Match-Up Preview | 9/20 2:10 PM EST

September 20, 2023

Andy Billman

Series Finale Against the Kansas City Royals

3 Things Preview For Today’s Game:

1 – Lucas Giolito

Lucas Giolito looks to make it two in a row as he is starting Wednesday afternoon for the Guardians. 

2 – Andres Gimenez

Andres Gimenez continues his hot September batting .354 so far in the final month of the baseball season.

3 – 8-9

In September, at a critical point in the season, the Cleveland Guardians have gone 8-9 so far in September.

Guardians Notes

Cleveland had a dominant performance in its recent series against Texas, where they swept the Rangers, outscoring them 23-6 across three games. However, despite this success, the team has struggled to replicate its postseason run from last year, and it appears they will not be part of the postseason action this October.

The Guardians have averaged 4.09 runs per game, ranking 27th in the league, and they maintain a .250 batting average, placing them 15th, with a .694 OPS, which is 27th in the league. Offensively, they’ve hit 116 home runs (30th in the league) and stolen 139 bases (5th in the league) this season. On the pitching side, the Cleveland staff has put up a respectable 3.91 ERA, ranking 6th, and a 1.28 WHIP, ranking 15th, along with 55 quality starts, placing them 12th.

Taking the mound for the visiting team on Wednesday afternoon will be Giolito, an eighth-year pro who has already played for three different teams this season. He holds a record of 3-9 with a 5.97 ERA and 1.51 WHIP in 16 road appearances with the White Sox, Angels, and Guardians. In his most recent start, he was dominant, holding the Rangers scoreless and recording 12 strikeouts over seven innings. Giolito also earned two victories against Kansas City in May, limiting the Royals to just three runs while striking out 13 batters in a combined 12 innings of work.

Guardians Stats and Insights


  • Giolito’s teams are 16-15-0 against the spread in his starts this season.
  • The right-hander allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings pitched against the Texas Rangers on Friday.
  • Giolito has two starts in a row of five innings or more.
  • In 30 appearances this season, he has finished four without allowing an earned run.
  • Giolito’s team has been victorious in 45.5% of the games he’s started as the moneyline favorite with a record of 5-6.
  • Giolito’s team has a 10-21 record in his starts this season.
  • Games Giolito has started this season hit over 15 times in 31 chances.


  • The Guardians have hit two or more home runs in 29 games this season, and are 21-8 in those contests.
  • Cleveland has gone 20-7 in its 27 games this season with at least five extra-base hits.
  • The team is 49-45 in the games this season it has strung together eight or more hits.
  • Cleveland has a 42-15 record in games this season when it put up five or more runs.
  • The Guardians have gone 20-18 in the 38 games this season when they have drawn five or more walks.

Royals Notes

Kansas City is gaining momentum as they head towards the end of their recent games, securing victories in five of their last six matches. This winning streak has been fueled by an impressive offensive performance, averaging 6.5 runs per game.

The Royals’ regular season statistics show that they typically score an average of 4.12 runs per game, ranking them 26th in the league. Their batting average stands at .242, placing them 20th, with a .697 OPS, also ranking 26th. They’ve hit 150 home runs (26th) and have excelled in stolen bases, with 152 (ranking 3rd) in the 2023 season. On the pitching side, the Kansas City staff has struggled, posting a high 5.22 ERA (28th) and a 1.41 WHIP (24th), with only 31 quality starts (29th).

For the upcoming series finale on Wednesday, Greinke will be taking the mound for the home team. In his most recent start, he delivered a stellar performance by keeping Houston scoreless and limiting them to just three hits over two innings, marking his shortest outing of the season. However, it’s worth noting that the seasoned 20-year veteran has faced challenges against Cleveland this season, allowing a total of six runs on 15 hits across 11 innings of combined play.

Royals Stats and Insights


  • Greinke gets the start for the Royals, his 25th of the season. He is 1-15 with a 5.39 ERA and 85 strikeouts in 128 2/3 innings pitched.
  • The righty’s most recent appearance was on Saturday against the Houston Astros, when he tossed two scoreless innings while allowing three hits.
  • Greinke has 17 starts this season which he pitched five or more innings.
  • He has had four appearances this season in which he held his opponents to zero earned runs.
  • The Royals have been the underdog on the money line in 21 of Greinke’s starts this season, and they went 6-15 in those games.
  • Greinke’s team has compiled a 6-18 record in his 24 starts.
  • Greinke has started 24 games with a total set by oddsmakers this season. The teams have combined to go over the run total in nine of them.


  • They have won 20 of the 38 games this season in which they hit two or more home runs.
  • Kansas City has gone 17-17 this season when collecting five or more extra-base hits as a team.
  • They have won 38 of the 85 games in which they’ve collected eight or more hits this season.
  • Kansas City has a 35-17 record this season when scoring five or more runs in a game.
  • In 20 games this season with five or more walks drawn, they’ve posted a record of 7-13

Final Thoughts/Pick

In his previous two appearances this season, Giolito has performed admirably against Kansas City. He showcased his pitching prowess in his most recent outing against Houston, making a strong comeback after a couple of lackluster starts earlier in the month. I anticipate that his accumulated experience and current momentum will greatly benefit him in Wednesday’s matchup, particularly against a Royals lineup that will be missing Perez.

As for Greinke, his illustrious career is nearing its end, and while it has been impressive, his impact on this game is likely to be minimal, if at all positive. The veteran with 224 career wins is expected to pitch no more than four innings before handing over the ball to a Kansas City bullpen that has struggled, boasting one of the worst ERAs (5.21) and WHIPs (1.48) in Major League Baseball.

Our Pick: Take Guardians and the Money Line

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