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Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals Betting Preview
The Indians are coming off of a series win over the Chicago White Sox over the weekend. On Sunday, they blanked Chicago 5-0 behind a solid pitching performance from Zach Plesac (5.2 innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, 6 strikeouts). Cesar Hernandez and Jose Ramirez homered in the win.
The Royals had less luck as they lost two of three to the Twins in their last series, including a 13-4 pounding on Sunday. The defense didn’t do the team any favors as of the seven runs that Brad Keller gave up in just over four innings; only two of them were earned.
The Cleveland Indians are -115 to win in this one, while the Royals’ moneyline sits at -105. The runline features Cleveland +1.5 while the over/under for total runs is 8.5.
Monday night, the Indians will send righty Aaron Civale (4-0, 2.94 ERA) to the mound. The last time Civale took the mound, he picked up a win against the Twins after going 7.2 innings, allowing eight hits, four runs, and striking out four.
The Royals will counter with lefty Daniel Lynch. This will actually be Lynch’s Major League debut. According to MLB Pipeline, Lynch is the 24th best prospect in all of baseball, so this should be an exciting debut for the Royals and the youngster.
By The Number
Offensively, the Royals hold the advantage. They currently rank 11th in the majors averaging 4.64 runs per game. The Indians fall to 25th averaging 3.92 runs.
Defensively, it is Cleveland that holds the edge. They rank 13th in runs allowed per game at 4.12. The Royals rank 19th allowing 4.40 runs per game to opponents.
Indians Hope To Move Over .500
About a sixth of the way through the season, the Indians are exactly .500 at 13-13. Despite the even record, they sit just three games behind the Royals for the top spot in the division. On Monday, they will look to get over the .500 mark and cut into the Royals’ lead.
After hitting his team-leading eighth home run of the season Sunday, Jose Ramirez continues to be the catalyst of the offense. To this point, he is hitting .280/.367/.602 with 17 runs batted in, 16 runs scored, and four stolen bases.
He has especially been on fire as of late as he has hit four home runs and eight runs batted in over the last week (while also hitting .400).
In that same span, Franmil Reyes has also hit well, hitting .250 with a couple of home runs and four runs batted in.
Royals Try To Keep Stranglehold On Division
The Kansas City Royals have been one of the more surprising teams in the early going of the season. They are currently a game and a half ahead of the White Sox for first in the division and are 8-5 both at home and on the road. They are also 7-3 in their last ten and hope to keep a clench on the top spot in the division.
Offensively, catcher Salvador Perez has had a great start to the season. He is tied for the team lead in home runs with Carlos Santana at six. He is also hitting .269/.303/.510 with 16 runs batted in. The only downfall to Perez is he strikes out too much (30 strikeouts versus just 4 walks).
Over the last week, outfielder Andrew Benintendi has also been on fire. In that span, he is hitting .471/.550/.882 with a couple of home runs and four runs batted in.
Pitching Will Dictate The Winner
Pitching will be on full display in this one. Aaron Civale has been fantastic to start the season for the Indians, and the Royals will get their first look at one of their top prospects in Daniel Lynch.
It may come down to which offense can sneak in a couple of runs and which bullpens can hold the lead late. Regardless, it should be a really fun matchup on Monday.
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