Baseball is a fun game. Sometimes a player loves to see a certain team and is ready to play as soon as they get to the stadium. Sometimes they hate looking at the schedule. Which teams do some of the KC Royals like to see coming and which are their baseball kryptonite?
Let’s figure it out by relying on most of the numbers Baseball-Reference.com.
Baseball Hall of Famer George Brett finished his career with a .305 average, a number boosted by his .329 mark against the Seattle Mariners. Brett also seemed to enjoy the Toronto Blue Jays, against whom he batted .321/.402/.551. And Texas Pitchers surrendered 34 of Brett’s 317 career homers.
The other side of the coin? Brett’s lowest average was .273 in 188 games against Cleveland.
Pitcher and Club Hall of Famer Paul Splittorff has the most wins in team history at 166. Splitt may have had a love-hate relationship with the White Sox – in 48 appearances (46 starts) against the Sox he went 21-21 with a 2.98 ERA, 11 complete games and three shutouts – the ERA was the best and most wins, complete games and shutouts he’s had against any club, but the losses were also the heaviest he’s suffered against any team.
The Yankees seemed to have Splittorff’s number as he only had a 14-16 record and a 4.68 ERA in 40 regular season games against them. But in seven playoff appearances, Splittorff had his number with a 2-0 record and a 2.79 ERA.
Reliever and current Royals broadcaster Jeff Montgomery, who played briefly for the Reds before joining Kansas City in one of the club’s best trades with Cincinnati and who is another member of the team’s Hall of Fame, is an all-time 304 -Leader of the Royals saves. He recorded 31 of those and two wins against Seattle and 29 saves and four wins against Milwaukee. And he had an outstanding 2.07 ERA in 58 career appearances against Minnesota.
His biggest fights came against Baltimore against whom he lost seven and posted a 4.25 ERA.
Two current KC Royals have popular and least popular teams to compete against.
With today’s unbalanced schedule, Kansas City’s player stats are heavily weighted to American League Central teams. (All career totals for current players are valid through April 23).
Salvador Perez had a career mark of .269 with 205 home runs and 663 RBIs. Salvy has 30 home runs and 101 RBIs against Minnesota and bats .321 against the Angels. Texas has held him to a .193 mark in 41 career games, while Cleveland has held him to a .245 average.
Whit Merrifield carried a lifetime .288 average with 916 career hits and 162 stolen bases into Sunday’s game in Seattle. He has batted .387 against the Red Sox in 119 plate appearances and caused a lot of damage against Detroit, playing the Tigers with .331 averages, 134 hits and 27 stolen bases. Like Perez, he wasn’t hot against Cleveland, against whom he hits .254.
KC Royals pitcher Zack Greinke has plenty of career success against NL West.
In his 19-year big league career, Zack Greinke has 219 wins and a 3.43 ERA. With his years with the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, Greinke has significant experience against the National League West. He has 14 career wins against Colorado, San Diego and San Francisco, the other three teams in the division, with nearly identical numbers against the Padres and Giants — 14-3 against each with 2.39 and 2.37 ERAs, respectively.
Greinke has fought against Minnesota, against whom he is 5-10 with a 4.53 ERA.
Given the pride Greinke takes in his batting, it only makes sense to include his favorite teams to bat against. Of his nine career home runs, the Padres and Phillies have each allowed two. Of the teams he’s logged more than 25 plate appearances against, Greinke has an average of .257 against St. Louis and .256 against the Giants.
And now that the NL have adopted the designated hitter, Greinke will go down as one of the last pitchers to score a hit in the World Series with the pinch-hit single he had in Game 5 of the Fall 2021 classic.
On a pitching staff with little major league experience, Brad Keller is one of the top KC hurlers at 29-37 in 107 career games. Like Splittorff, but on a much smaller scale, Keller has his most career wins and losses against the White Sox, with a 5-5 record and a 3.48 ERA in 16 games. In 10 appearances against Cleveland (eight starts), Keller has a 2-2 record but a stellar 1.71 ERA in 52.2 innings. Boston seems to have figured Keller out — he’s 0-1 with an 8.10 ERA in five games and 16.2 innings against them.
Which other clubs do you think Kansas City players either enjoy playing or don’t play at all?