Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals August 31 Betting Preview
Tuesday night starts a three-game series between AL Central rivals as the Cleveland Indians (64-64) square off with the Kansas City Royals (59-71). The Royals will host this one at Kauffman Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 pm ET.
The Indians enjoyed an off day on Monday after they lost a three-game series to the Boston Red Sox over the weekend. After dropping their first two games, they salvaged the finale on Sunday, 7-5. In the win, Jose Ramirez hit his 31st home run of the season.
Like Cleveland, Kansas City had an off day Monday after taking three out of four from the Mariners over the weekend. They did drop Sunday’s game 4-3 but outscored the Mariners 18-13 in the first three games.
The Royals are the favorites playing at home. They are -132 to win while the Indians’ moneyline sits at +100.
The Indians will send righty Zach Plesac to the mound for the opener. On the season, Plesac is 8-4 with a 4.78 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, and has struck out 73 in 107.1 innings. In his last seven games, he is 3-1, but he also has a 5.82 ERA in that span.
As of Monday night, the Royals had not officially named a starter, but it is believed to be lefty Mike Minor getting the ball. Minor is 8-11 with a 5.30 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and 142 strikeouts in 147.2 innings.
By The Number
Offensively, both of these teams rank in the bottom half of the majors. Cleveland ranks 16th in scoring averaging 4.45 runs per game. The Royals rank 24th, averaging 4.16 runs per game (4.57 at home).
Those ranks are pretty similar on the defensive side, too. The Indians rank 15th in scoring defense allowing opponents an average of 4.56 runs per game. The Royals rank 23rd allowing 4.85 runs.
Indians Try To Move Above .500
At 64-64, the Indians currently rank second in the AL Central, but they also sit 10 games back of the first-place White Sox. With the postseason all but out of the picture, the Indians are hoping to at least move above the .500 mark Tuesday.
Third baseman Jose Ramirez is certainly doing his part to try to help Cleveland succeed. He is currently hitting .263/.349/.555 and leads the team in home runs (31), runs batted in (84), runs scored (87), and stolen bases (19).
Ramirez has also been the Indians’ hottest hitter on the road this season. Away from Progressive Field, he is hitting .249/.335/.484 with 12 home runs, 32 runs batted in, and 10 stolen bases.
Royals Look To Stay Hot
Despite their 59-71 record, the Royals have actually been a pretty hot team as of late, winning three of their last four series. In that span, they are 10-4 and will look to keep it rolling as they host the Indians.
Over the last four series, catcher Salvador Perez has been scorching at the plate. He is hitting .275/.356/.745 over the last 14 games with eight home runs and 19 runs batted in.
One player to keep an eye on is Hunter Dozier in this one. In 17 at-bats against Plesac, he is only hitting .235 but also has two home runs and four runs batted in. Carlos Santana has also homered off of the righty.
Indians Look To Plesac To Take Opener
With Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale on the injured list, starter Zach Plesac has become the staple of an otherwise inexperienced starting rotation.
While his 4.78 ERA is a far cry from the 2.28 ERA from last season, Plesac has been good enough to maintain a winning record at 8-4.
The Indians are hoping to bump that up to nine Tuesday as they take on a Royals team whose losing record does not reflect how they have been playing as of late.
It won’t be easy, but if Plesac can keep the Royals’ bats in check, it could be a great opportunity for the Indians to get this series kicked off with a win.
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