At 7:10 Central Time tonight, the Kansas City Royals (31-44) will begin a three-game series against the Chicago Cubs (30-44) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. Owners of the 2nd- and 3rd-worst records in all of baseball respectively, the Cubs and Royals will start Ryan Dempster (5-6, 5.46/1-1, 18.1, 1.96) and Bruce Chen (4-1, 3.59/1-1, 16.2, 5.40) to get things started.
I predict that this series will stink. A lot. Both teams currently reside in 5th place in their divisions, which makes the Royals the basement dweller in the AL Central. The Cubs went 6-8 in their last 4 series (Phils, Brewers, Yanks, Sox), Royals 4-8 in their last 4 (Angels, A’s, Cards, D’Backs). The Cubs are 9 games under .500 on the road, and the Royals are 2 under that mark at home.
Don’t expect to be entertained by the bats. Even though the Cubs are 5th-best in the majors in batting average and the Royals are 6th, the Cubs rank only 18th in runs, 15th in OPS, 19th in home runs, and 21st in runs batted in. The Royals haven’t fared much better: 11th, 11th, 23rd, 10th in those same categories.
You will be hard-pressed to find a pitcher’s duel in this series, too. The Cubs and Royals are either worst or second-worst in ERA, batting average against, number of quality starts, WHIP and opposing OPS. Their pitching staffs issue more walks than any other staff in baseball and in the rare occasion their closers have the opportunity to save a game, they’re subpar in that department, too: The Cubs rank 23rd, Royals 29th in save percentage.
The Royals don’t kick the ball around very often, but the Cubs and their Major League-worst defense will. Often. The Cubs don’t run much, but the Royals do, and very well. That’s something, I guess.
I assume Dempster will give up less than 6 runs tonight and somehow get the W. Z outduels some dude named Danny Duffy in game 2, and Randy Wells outlasts Luke Hochevar in the finale. Or the Royals handily sweep the Cubs, which wouldn’t surprise me at all. At least I’ll get to see the Royals’ Butler, Moustakas, Hosmer and Gordon without having to hear Hawk Harrelson’s voice. Whatever happens, don’t let your kids watch.
This Mirotic kid will be a good one in 2013. Or 2015.