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Royals Series Preview: Jeremy Guthrie tries to avoid the sweep

So does Jeremy Hellickson.

Ed Zurga

The Rays head to Kansas City for a one game series between Jeremies Guthrie and Hellickson.

Jeremy Guthrie Jeremy Hellickson
K% 12.6 % 18.2 %
BB% 7.0 % 6.3 %
GB% 42.8% 40.3 %
ERA 4.27 5.01
FIP 4.93 4.10
xFIP 4.61 4.12
SIERA 4.82 4.11
Steamer RoS ERA 4.75 4.25

This year, the Royals have featured the fourth worst offense in baseball, with an 87 wRC+. Below are the players who accumulated at least 100 PAs with the Royals.

Name AVG OBP SLG wRC+
Billy Butler 0.290 0.383 0.422 122
Eric Hosmer 0.299 0.348 0.451 117
George Kottaras 0.179 0.367 0.405 116
Alex Gordon 0.265 0.329 0.414 101
David Lough 0.287 0.307 0.408 93
Jarrod Dyson 0.252 0.322 0.378 91
Lorenzo Cain 0.261 0.324 0.362 88
Miguel Tejada 0.288 0.317 0.378 88
Salvador Perez 0.270 0.303 0.377 83
Mike Moustakas 0.239 0.296 0.367 80
Chris Getz 0.224 0.290 0.281 54
Alcides Escobar 0.236 0.262 0.303 50
Jeff Francoeur 0.208 0.249 0.322 50
Elliot Johnson 0.179 0.218 0.241 19

Note that Miguel Tejada tested positive for amphetamines and is suspended, Lorenzo Cain is injured, and Jeff Francoeur was DFA'd, and is no longer on a MLB roster. His spot has been taken in the outfield by Justin Maxwell, currently holds a 123 wRC+ in a bit over 200 PAs this season.

Oh, and check out the 2013 Ray killer Elliot Johnson.

The Pitcher

Jeremy Guthrie once seemed like a decent pitcher, back in his time with Baltimore. Now that I look back on his stats, I see that he was really just an average player on a bad team, and those guys sometimes get taken for above average players.

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via pitchfx.texasleaguers.com

Guthrie's arsenal is fairly normal. He throws four and two seam fastballs in the low to mid 90s, a changeup anywhere from the low to the high 80s, a slider in the low to mid 80s, and a curve in the low to mid 70s.

Here's where it gets fun, though, especially for fans of Casey Fossum (you know who you are). Guthrie occasionally breaks out a very slow curve, averaging 65 mph (according to Brooks Baseball). He's thrown 16 this year, eight to righties, eight to lefties. Other than the Fossumites, I know a guy who gets unreasonably excited about the the eephus, and I doubt he's the only one. For all of you out there with that peculiar infatuation, this game is for you.