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Guardians open 2022 season on the road in Kansas City

Opening Day!

MLB: Spring Training-Cleveland Guardians at Los Angeles Dodgers Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Fresh off the news that they have formally extended José Ramírez, the Guardians will take on the Royals in Kansas City to start their 2022 season this afternoon at 4:10 p.m. ET.

Every Opening Day is special, but this one feels more so given the money committed to a true Cleveland star and — perhaps even more important — a new name for the franchise. Cleveland baseball’s first regular-season series as the Guardians comes against a familiar foe in the Royals, and recent history is on their side in this division rivalry.

The Guardians haven’t had a losing season against the Royals since 2015 when Kansas City won 10 of their 19 bouts and went on to win the whole dang thing. Last year, Cleveland took 14 of 19, including a 6-1 win in their final matchup of the season. Cleveland is expected to roll out much of the same lineup they had in that finale, with the exciting addition of rookie Steven Kwan in right field.

Projections are not favorable for either team in this matchup because, while it’s a very good thing that Ramírez was extended, it doesn’t exactly fix their lineup issues. FanGraphs has the Guardians at a 77-85 record and the Royals just barely behind at 75-87 and last in the AL Central. I’m going to go out on a limb and say I think the Guardians can beat that projection. If they want to try, it’ll have to start with a few wins in Kansas City.

This four-game set will start tonight in a (thankfully) dry Kansas City, take a day off tomorrow, and resume Saturday, Sunday, and Monday in three-straight mid-afternoon games. I would like to know who decided to start the season with four afternoon games and fist-fight them.

Team at a glance

(2021 stats and rankings)
  • Record: 74-88 (12th in AL)
  • Runs Scored: 686 (13th in AL)
  • Run Differential: -105 (13th in AL)
  • Last 10: 6-4
  • Slash: .249/.306/.396
  • wOBA: .304 (13th in AL)
  • wRC+: 89 (14th in AL)
  • ERA: 4.64 (11th in AL)
  • SIERA: 4.44 (12th in AL)
  • K-BB%: 12.3% (12th in AL)

Projected starters

Thursday, April 7, 4:10 p.m. ET: RHP Zack Greinke vs. Shane Bieber
Saturday, April 9, 4:10 p.m. ET: RHP Brad Keller vs. Zach Plesac
Sunday, April 10, 2:10 p.m. ET: LHP Kris Bubic vs. Cal Quantrill
Monday, April 11, 2:10 p.m. ET: RHP Carlos Hernandez vs. Aaron Civale

Roster

Poll

How many games will the Guardians win against the Royals?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    4
    (11 votes)
  • 31%
    3
    (32 votes)
  • 48%
    2
    (50 votes)
  • 4%
    1
    (5 votes)
  • 4%
    0
    (5 votes)
103 votes total Vote Now