Series Preview: Seattle Mariners at Kansas City Royals

The Mariners hobble into Kansas City this weekend after two disappointing sequence losses in opposition to the Angels and A’s. Though the workforce nonetheless has a four-game cushion over Baltimore within the playoff race, the avid gamers have a variety of frame portions that might need that cushioning. We will most probably see extra of Ty France at 3rd base this weekend with Eugenio Suárez out, and all eyes are on Julio Rodríguez as of late, who will go through an MRI after leaving the previous day’s sport in the course of the primary inning with a recurrence of his again tightness that sidelined him remaining week. At the time of writing there isn’t but phrase about what taste of “concerning” he’s going through.

On the intense facet, the previous day noticed the Mariners produce 9 runs on 11 hits, that includes particularly the primary act of Jarred Kelenic’s vengeance excursion. If the workforce can stay fueling that fireside for the following few days, they’ll earn their off day on Monday ahead of coming house to an exciting ten (significant!) video games in 9 days to complete the common season.

At a Glance

Mariners Royals
Mariners Royals
Game 1 Friday, September 23 | 5:10 pm
LHP Marco Gonzales RHP Brady Singer
48% 52%
Game 2 Saturday, September 24 | 4:10 pm
RHP Logan Gilbert LHP Kris Bubic
59% 41%
Game 3 Sunday, September 25 | 11:10 am
RHP Luis Castillo RHP Zack Greinke
64% 36%

*Game odds courtesy of FanGraphs

Team Overview

Overview Royals Mariners Edge
Overview Royals Mariners Edge
Batting (wRC+) 92 (twelfth in AL) 105 (fifth in AL) Mariners
Fielding (OAA) 6 (seventh) 6 (eighth) Royals
Starting Pitching (FIP-) 118 (thirteenth) 103 (eighth) Mariners
Bullpen (FIP-) 109 (fifteenth) 95 (eighth) Mariners

The Mariners and Royals remaining confronted every different at the opposite finish of this season, April 22-Twenty fourth in Seattle. The Mariners swept the Royals handily, scoring 22 runs to the Royals’ 12. In that sequence, Carlos Santana drove in two runs by the use of the lengthy ball… for Kansas City! In Jake’s preview all the ones 5 months in the past, he wrote: “In many ways, the Royals are in a similar position as the Mariners organizationally.”

Boy, have instances modified. The Royals entered this season with hopes excessive for rivalry, given their top-three-in-baseball prospect and core of cast veteran bats, however the ones hopes have now not come to fruition. While the Mariners have performed their approach into an over 99.5% likelihood of going to the playoffs for the primary time within the historical past of this site, the Royals have performed their approach right into a fired GM and fourth position of their department. Actually, consensus puts duty for the Royals’ failure to development thru their rebuild on their organizational construction practices, together with vital pitching construction disasters and reluctance to spend money on analytics and data-driven decision-making. On Wednesday, Royals proprietor John Sherman introduced the firing of 16-year General Manager Dayton Moore; the Royals’ new (to the function) GM JJ Picollo seems to be to bring in a extra innovative technology of analytics for the workforce.

Royals Lineup

Player Position Bats PA BABIP wRC+ BsR
Player Position Bats PA BABIP wRC+ BsR
MJ Melendez DH L 479 0.261 102 -1.0
Bobby Witt Jr. SS R 582 0.291 102 5.3
Salvador Perez C R 437 0.290 109 -2.8
Vinnie Pasquantino 1B L 245 0.280 124 -1.0
Michael A. Taylor CF R 429 0.327 94 0.5
Michael Massey 2B L 156 0.340 101 0.5
Edward Olivares RF R 129 0.360 133 0.4
Hunter Dozier LF R 472 0.293 87 -7.5
Nate Eaton 3B R 93 0.382 104 1.8

Offensively, the Royals have struggled to accomplish persistently this 12 months, with a workforce wRC+ just below league moderate at 96. Shortstop Bobby Witt, Jr. (the aforementioned peak prospect) began the 12 months grouped with Adley Rutschman and Julio as a trio combating to be baseball’s megastar rookie. Compared to the opposite two, Witt has been disappointing, value 2.1 fWAR to Julio’s 4.9 and Rutschman’s 4.4. That mentioned, his uncooked ability is visual: he’s hit 20 house runs, stolen 27 bases, and his fWAR does lead all different place avid gamers at the Royals.

Witt and catcher/designated hitter MJ Melendez each debuted this 12 months and appear to be precious younger items at the Royals going ahead. In phrases of acquainted veteran faces going through the M’s pitching body of workers, Salvador Perez leads Kansas City with 22 homers and Hunter Dozier… exists. First baseman Vinnie Pasquantino leads the workforce in wRC+ (126) for avid gamers with over 200 plate appearances, however the workforce hasn’t had any in point of fact standout hitters this 12 months except for their sole All Star Andrew Benintendi, who was once traded to the Yankees in July.

Probable Pitchers

Updated Stuff+ Explainer

MLB: Cleveland Guardians at Kansas City Royals

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

RHP Brady Singer

140 2/3 23.9% 5.6% 13.4% 48.6% 3.07 3.53
Pitch Frequency Velocity Spin Rate Stuff+ Whiff+ BIP+
Sinker 54.0% 93.8 2293 118 94 112
Changeup 7.7% 86.9 2230 66 32 86
Slider 37.9% 85.5 2335 116 95 89

Brady Singer’s breakout season has been probably the most few vivid spots for the Royals this 12 months. One of the various peak draft selections the Royals were blessed with all through their rebuild section following their 2015 World Series height, he struggled to seek out a lot good fortune all through his first two seasons within the majors. His step forward isn’t the manufactured from any sweeping adjustments to his repertoire; as an alternative, he’s merely progressed his way. He’s finding his pitches within the zone way more regularly, resulting in a dramatic drop in his stroll charge. By filling up the zone, he’s permitting a little extra touch nevertheless it’s been offset through some progressed effects on his slider. That pitch is generating a career-high whiff charge and batters have had a horrible time in the event that they put it in play.

LHP Kris Bubic

119 1/3 17.6% 10.7% 13.8% 41.3% 5.81 4.97
Pitch Frequency Velocity Spin Rate Stuff+ Whiff+ BIP+
Four-seam 50.9% 91.8 2126 66 90 88
Changeup 27.8% 80.6 1687 159 86 78
Curveball 21.3% 79.3 2605 103 44 92

From a prior sequence preview:

Of their 4 first-round draft selections from 2018, Bubic has arguably had essentially the most good fortune at the main league degree. He made his debut in 2020 and has compiled a 4.57 ERA throughout 41 appearances and 32 begins. His FIP sits over 5, on the other hand, as he’s been in particular at risk of the lengthy ball. That’s now not unexpected since his fastball sits slightly over 90 mph on moderate. Instead of overpowering batters, he depends on deception for many of his good fortune — each mechanical and by the use of his pitch combine. His changeup has probably the most highest speed differentials within the majors, serving to him stay batters off steadiness, even though it’s resulted in extra vulnerable touch quite than whiffs.

Bubic hasn’t observed a lot growth in his effects this 12 months. He has been ready to push his house run charge in opposition to league moderate however his ERA remains to be upper than ever. He allowed 5 runs on seven hits in two innings of labor in his earlier time out in Seattle in April.

RHP Zack Greinke

124 13.1% 4.7% 9.3% 41.7% 4.21 4.13
Pitch Frequency Velocity Spin Rate Stuff+ Whiff+ BIP+
Four-seam 38.5% 89.2 2286 32 72 77
Sinker 2.5% 89.4 2186 82
Cutter 13.6% 85.9 2378 94 85 125
Changeup 16.1% 86.6 1636 54 55 92
Curveball 19.9% 72.1 2432 104 55 103
Slider 9.3% 82.2 2434 60 65 113

Zack Greinke’s reunion excursion with the Royals at age 38 has long past about as anticipated. With his fastball speed sitting less than ever, his strikeout charge has fallen precipitously — simplest Marco Gonzales’s is decrease amongst starters with at least 120 innings pitched. But this late-career model of Greinke remains to be efficient for a similar causes Gonzales has been: a deep repertoire and exceptional command. He’s additionally controlled to make stronger his FIP through greater than part a run over remaining 12 months, the vast majority of which can also be traced again to a house run charge that’s been just about lower in part.

The Big Picture:

The AL West

Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Astros 99-52 0.656 W-W-W-W-L
Mariners 82-67 0.550 16.0 L-W-L-L-W
Rangers 65-84 0.436 33.0 L-L-L-W-W
Angels 65-85 0.433 33.5 W-L-W-L-L
Athletics 55-95 0.367 43.5 W-L-W-W-L

The Wild Card Race

Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Team W-L W% Games Behind Recent Form
Blue Jays 84-66 0.560 +1.5 W-L-W-L-L
Rays 83-67 0.553 +0.5 W-L-L-L-W
Mariners 82-67 0.550 L-W-L-L-W
Orioles 78-71 0.523 4.0 W-L-L-W-W
White Sox 76-74 0.507 6.5 W-W-L-L-L

The Wild Card standings glance very equivalent as of late to the remaining time we checked in. While the M’s performed the Athletics, the Rays had been swept through the Astros and the Jays cut up two video games with the Phillies. Those 3 groups are in an identical place to Tuesday, with Toronto a sport forward of the Rays, who’re part a sport forward of the Mariners. The Orioles have won one sport at the M’s since then, as a result of they beat the Astros the previous day. Though the Mariners’ hunch has made their playoff hopes really feel feebler, energy of agenda no doubt favors them in those remaining couple of weeks; Tampa Bay, Toronto, and Baltimore all play a couple of sequence in opposition to different playoff sure or contending groups (and the Red Sox).

If the season ended as of late, the Rays would shuttle to Toronto for a 3 sport playoff sequence, whilst the Mariners would shuttle to Cleveland to play 3 in opposition to the Guardians.

This weekend, the Orioles host the Astros for 3 extra. After the Rays beat the Blue Jays 10-5 the previous day, the 2 different most probably Wild Card groups play 3 extra instances this weekend.

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