Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals Matchup Preview, Betting Odds
It will be an AL Central battle this weekend as the Kansas City Royals (36-50) and the Cleveland Indians (42-42) meet up for a four-game series. The Indians will host this series at Progressive Field starting on Thursday.
Coming into play Thursday, the Royals are just 3-7 in their last 10 games, including losing two of three to the Reds to start the week. On Wednesday, the Reds won the finale 5-2. In the loss, the Royals’ offense managed eight hits and four walks, but they were only able to scratch across a pair of runs.
Cleveland has also struggled as they are just 1-9 in their last 10 games. In fact, they have lost nine games in a row, including back-to-back series sweeps at the hands of the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays. The finale of their series with the Rays may have been the worst as they were no-hit in the seven-inning game.
The schedule for the four-game series at Progressive Field is as follows:
- Thursday, July 8 - 7:10 pm ET
- Friday, July 9 - 7:10 pm ET
- Saturday, July 10 - 6:10 pm ET
- Sunday, July 11 - 1:10 pm ET
Here is the pitching matchup for each game of the series:
- Thursday: Danny Duffy (4-3, 2.60 ERA) vs. Zach Plesac (4-3, 4.14 ERA)
- Friday: Brad Keller (6-9, 6.39 ERA) vs. TBD
- Saturday: Mike Minor (6-7, 5.36 ERA) vs. TBD
- Sunday: TBD vs. TBD
Looking At Odds
After their nine-game slide, the Indians are now just +700 to win the AL Central. They are currently +5500 to win it all this year.
The Royals are tied with the Tigers for the worst odds to win the AL Central at +15000. They are +30000 to win the World Series.
By The Number
Offensively, the Indians have been the stronger of the two teams thus far. They rank 16th in scoring averaging 4.33 runs per game. The Royals rank 23rd, averaging 4.13 runs (3.51 on the road).
Defensively, both of these teams once again fall in the bottom half of the majors. The Indians rank 17th in scoring defense allowing opponents 4.54 runs per game. The Royals fall to 26th, allowing 5.12 runs.
Royals Hope To Improve Road Play
There wasn’t a whole lot expected out of Kansas City this year, as they are clearly in the midst of a rebuilding year. After starting off hot, they have cooled down and fallen to fourth in the division.
A big reason for their demise is their play on the road. While they would love to get over .500 at home (currently 21-22), they have really struggled on the road. To date, they are just 15-28 away from Kauffman Stadium.
They have had a few players shine this year, including All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. He is currently hitting .281/.307/.506 with a team-leading 20 home runs and 51 runs batted in. His power surge this year has landed him a spot in the Home Run Derby.
Whit Merrifield has also performed well this season. He is currently hitting .276/.329/.416 with eight home runs, 45 runs batted in, 50 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases.
Indians Need To End Losing Streak To Keep Hope Alive
A 1-9 stretch is never a good thing for a baseball team, but it is even worse when you are trying to stay in a division race. With their current losing streak, Cleveland has fallen to eight games behind the Chicago White Sox in the AL Central, and they desperately need to get a win if they hope to keep any semblance of a chance in the division.
Unfortunately, Cleveland’s pitching has been a mess as of late due to the injuries to Shane Bieber, Aaron Civale, and Zach Plesac. Luckily, they get Plesac back for the opener of this series, but the rest of the matchups are undecided as the team examines what to do with the starting rotation.
After dealing with an elbow issue in the last series, it was nice to see Jose Ramirez back in the lineup for Cleveland. On the season, Ramirez is hitting .262/.343/.525 on the season with a team-leading 18 home runs, 51 runs batted in, and 56 runs scored.
Over the last week, Franmil Reyes has started to heat back up. Since coming off of the injured list, he is hitting .412/.412/.824 with two home runs and six runs batted in over his last 17 at-bats.
Indians Hope To Win Battle Of Struggling Teams
Sometimes the best remedy for a losing streak is to play someone struggling just as badly as you. The Indians may get just that this weekend as they welcome the Royals to town.
Unfortunately, if the Indians are going to succeed, they need improvements from all aspects of their team. The offense, which has averaged less than three runs per game over their losing streak, has to improve, as does their pitching.
At this point, the Indians can’t get much worse than how they have been playing, and they just hope some improved play translates to some wins.
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