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Series preview: Guardians vs. Royals

The Guardians need to figure out how to win again — fast

MLB: SEP 04 Mariners at Guardians Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Nine of the Guardians’ final 30 games will come against the Royals (including six games to end the season), the most they will face any team down the stretch. Essentially, their key to regaining the sole AL Central lead and a path to the playoffs goes through Kansas City.

That shouldn’t be a tall order for this or any team. The Royals stink. They know it, we know it, everyone knows it. But that’s the beast of a 162-game season — depending on when you’re meeting a team they might not be playing like a 55-80 team with the worst pitching staff and one of the worst offenses in baseball. And a 68-win team might be playing like a basement dweller instead of one vying for a playoff spot.

If the Guardians can’t figure things out soon, the Twins are going to steamroll ahead and take the AL Central — and make no mistake about it, no AL Central team is getting a Wild Card spot. It’s winning the division or bust here.

The good news is that the Guardians can turn everything around with one game. Get off on the right foot, start feeling good about themselves, and get hot going into the playoffs. They are 2-8 in their last 10, and currently riding a miserable five-game losing streak. Last night they finally managed multiple runs for the first time in a calendar week, but still lost. Do they find the magic again and use it to beat the hapless Royals?

Pitching matchups are heavily in the Guardians’ favor, with Triston McKenzie and Shane Bieber both going for Cleveland and rookie Cody Morris potentially facing Daniel Lynch, who has surrendered three or more runs in five of his last six starts.

But can they score?

Team at a glance

  • Record: 55-80 (13th in AL)
  • Runs Scored: 535 (12th in AL)
  • Run Differential: -146
  • Last 10: 5-5
  • Slash: .245/.308/.382
  • wOBA: .304 (11th in AL)
  • wRC+: 94 (12th in AL)
  • ERA: 4.76 (15th in AL)
  • SIERA: 4.45 (15th in AL)
  • K-BB%: 9.2% (15th in AL)

Projected starters

Monday, Sept. 5, 8:10 p.m. ET: RHP Brady Singer vs. RHP Triston McKenzie
Tuesday, Sept. 6, 8:10 p.m. ET: LHP Kris Bubic vs. RHP Shane Bieber
Wednesday, Sept. 7, 8:10 p.m. ET: TBD (LHP Daniel Lynch*) vs. TBD (RHP Cody Morris*)



How many games will the Guardians win against the Royals?

This poll is closed

  • 29%
    (30 votes)
  • 43%
    (44 votes)
  • 15%
    (16 votes)
  • 11%
    (12 votes)
102 votes total Vote Now