Carlos Carrasco (13-11, 3.62 ERA), attemping to pick up his 200th strikeout of the season, takes the hill for the Cleveland Indians (75-76) as they square off against Edinson Volquez (13-8, 3.62 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (89-63) in the first of a three-game series at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Sep. 25 and can be seen on STOh and FSKC.
Volquez pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs, striking out six and walking four in a 6-5 defeat to the Tigers. Lorenzo Cain (.307, 98 Rs, 16 HRs, 71 RBIs, 28 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 5 with one run and two RBIs. Carrasco went 5.0 innings, surrendering two runs (one unearned), striking out nine and walking two in a 4-3 defeat to the White Sox in his last outing. Francisco Lindor (.321, 46 Rs, 10 HRs, 44 RBIs, 8 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Indians, going 3 for 5 yesterday with two runs.
Kansas City is a -125 favorite against Cleveland and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Royals have recorded an overall money line of +1,648 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 54-35. Kansas City has had an impressive season against division opponents, earning 24-19 and 38-29 records as the favorite and SU respectively. Kansas City is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 99 bases. Turning to the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Royals, who have a team ERA of only 3.80.
In games where it is the underdog, Cleveland has a 24-29 record and an overall money line of -1,504. They are 10-10 as the underdog against AL Central foes, and 28-39 SU. Cleveland is excellent at drawing walks with 3.3 per game, ranking third in the AL. Shifting to the pitching staff and defense, the The Indians allow just three runs per road game, ranking them first in the AL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Indians are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season.
The Royals lead the season series, 9-7. The Royals have a 61-37 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Carrasco takes the mound. Volquez (RHP) will be on the hill against the Indians, who have a 52-46 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals hold a 38-29 record this season against teams in the AL Central Division. The Indians' record in these matchups is 29-39.
The Royals are coming into this matchup after a high-scoring game where they scored a whopping 10 runs. The Indians have a 0-6 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 11-56. The Royals have a 13-54 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City and Cleveland both rank near the bottom of the league in home runs. Kansas City sits at 23rd with 132 home runs this season and Cleveland ranks 26th with 130.
Ranking seventh, Cleveland is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.69 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at third with 9.31.
Ranking 15th, Cleveland is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.727). Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at seventh with an OPS of .744.
When the Indians allow at least one home run, they are 44-60, well-matched with the Royals who are 40-47 when allowing at least one homer.