After completing a series victory against the Cardinals Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds (31-35) head across the state of Missouri for a three game inter league series with the Kansas City Royals (18-47) on Monday night.
The Royals have the second-worst record in baseball behind only the Oakland A’s, and they rank near the bottom of the league in both OPS and team ERA. In a word, they are terrible, both at the plate and on the mound, and the Reds need to take advantage of it in this series.
First pitch from Kauffman Stadium will be at 8:10 EDT.
Kansas City Royals
|CF TJ Friedl||1B Nick Pratto|
|SS Matt McLain||C Salvador Perez|
|2B Jonathan India||RF MJ Melendez|
|3B Elly De La Cruz||SS Bobby Witt Jr.|
|1B Spencer Steer||2B Michael Massey|
|DH Tyler Stephenson||DH Edward Olivares|
|RF Will Benson||3B Maikel Garcia|
|LF Stuart Fairchild||CF Drew Waters|
|C Luke Maile||LF Dairon Blanco|
|Links: Luke Weaver’s Stats | Zack Greinke’s Stats
Luke Weaver is coming off his worst start of the season on Tuesday when he allowed seven runs on six hits in just 3.2 innings against the Dodgers. Of his nine starts in 2023, he’s given up three or more runs in five of them.
An interesting tidbit about Weaver is that he’s been using his curve ball more this season than in recent years. His curve ball usage is currently at 13.7%. This is the highest it’s been since 2018, and it’s also significantly higher than two years ago when he only threw it 1.9% of the time. Weaver is also throwing his cutter at record levels (17.4%) this season, compared to 4.4% in 2022 and 6.1% in 2021.
Thirty-nine year old Zack Greinke returned to the place it all started for him when he signed with the Royals before the 2022 season, but so far it hasn’t been the same as it was from 2004-2010 when he made a name for himself. Greinke didn’t pitching terribly in 2022, as he had a 3.68 ERA with 73 strikeouts in 137.0 innings. But this season has been somewhat of a disaster. He has an ERA of almost five (4.59) and has only struck out 50 batters in 66.2 innings.
One thing Greinke has always done well throughout his career is limiting walks. The last time his walk percentage was above six percent was in 2016 when it was 6.1%. This number is already so low, and to think he has gotten it even lower than that is impressive. He currently sits at a 3.3% walk rate for the season, and his career walk rate is 5.5%. He doesn’t walk batters, and that hasn’t changed even as he’s struggled in other areas of his game.
- Time: 8:10 pm EDT
- Place: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Missouri
- Weather: 72 degrees, mostly sunny, 0% chance of rain
- TV: Bally Sports Ohio, MLB Network (out-of-market only), ESPN+
- Radio: 700 WLW
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