Carlos Carrasco (12-10, 3.70 ERA) and the Cleveland Indians (70-71) meet Edinson Volquez (13-7, 3.49 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (84-58) in the first of a four-game division series at Progressive Field. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Sep. 14 and will air on STOh and FSKC.
In his most recent outing, Carrasco pitched 2.2 innings, giving up four runs, striking out five and walking three in a 7-4 loss to the White Sox. The Royals were victorious the last time Volquez pitched. He pitched well, going 7.0 innings, allowing two runs and striking out three in a 4-2 victory over the Twins. Ben Zobrist (.290, 69 Rs, 12 HRs, 51 RBIs, 2 SBs) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
Cleveland, a -129 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Kansas City. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is eight runs. The Indians are 46-42 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -1,183. They have disappointing records of 14-24 as the favorite and 23-33 SU within their division. The Indians typically don't swing at bad pitches, which has led to an impressive 3.4 walks per game. Whenever an AL Central opponent shows up on the calendar, the Indians seem to struggle with pitching. They allow an average of 4.1 runs per game, but allow 4.6 against teams from their own division. The Indians don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking fourth in the league with a 1.20 WHIP.
Moving on to the away team, the Royals come into this game with a win percentage of .559 when playing as the underdog (33-26) and an overall money line of +1,922. Against teams in their division, they are 35-25 SU and have played well as the underdog with a 13-8 record. The Royals rank fifth in the AL in road scoring, averaging four runs per game. Kansas City is one of the top road hitting teams in the AL with an average of 9.3 hits per contest. The Royals have racked up 93 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Switching gears to Kansas City's pitching staff, they have the third-lowest ERA in the AL at 3.76.
The Royals have mostly come out on top against the Indians in their previous 12 games this season, earning a 7-5 record. This game will feature Volquez (RHP) on the mound against the Indians, who have a 50-42 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Carrasco will take the mound against the Royals. Against righty starters this season, they've racked up an impressive 58-33 record.
Predictions: SU Winner - Cle, O/U - Over
The Indians are 24-34 against their divisional rivals, while the Royals are 35-25 against their division.
The Indians managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Royals who are coming in with a 10-3 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Indians are 10-53. The Royals have a 12-49 record when opponents outhit them.
Both falling near the bottom of the league based on total home runs this season, Cleveland ranks 23rd with 120 homers and Kansas City is 25th with 118.
Ranking eighth, Cleveland is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.65 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at third with 9.30.
Ranking 15th, Cleveland is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.723). Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .738.
When the Royals allow at least one home run, they are 39-43, well-matched with the Indians who are 40-57 when allowing at least one homer.