Danny Salazar (2-0, 2.08 ERA) and the Cleveland Indians (6-13) meet Danny Duffy (1-0, 4.15 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (14-6) in the last of a three-game division series at Progressive Field. The Royals won the last game 11-5 and Kansas City leads the series 2-0. The game starts at 6:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Apr. 29 and will air on FSN-KC and STO.
Salazar is 2-3 with a 5.33 ERA against the Royals in his career, and faces a strong Kansas City offense that's hitting .305 on the year. Brandon Moss (.236, 10 Rs, 4 HRs, 14 RBIs) played well again yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two runs, one home run, and three RBIs. In his pitching opportunities against the Indians, Duffy is 2-1 with a 2.61 ERA. He meets a less-than-stellar Cleveland offense that's batting just .234. Mike Moustakas (.346, 17 Rs, 3 HRs, 8 RBIs, 1 SB) has been hitting the ball well, going 2 for 5 yesterday with one run and one RBI.
Cleveland is a -116 favorite in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is seven runs. The Indians perform poorly as a favorite with a 3-7 record and have an overall money line of -813. They are 1-4 as the favorite over their last 10 games. Don't expect the Cleveland hitters to swing wildly. They average only 6.9 strikeouts per game. Whenever an AL Central opponent shows up on the calendar, the Indians seem to struggle with pitching. They allow an average of 4.3 runs per game, but allow 4.9 against teams from their own division. The have been extremely effective at striking opposing batters out at Progressive Field, leading the AL with 9.2 strikeouts per home game.
Switching gears, the Royals come into this game with a solid win percentage of .875 when playing as the underdog (7-1) and an overall money line of +697. They have played at the top of their game when rated as the underdog as of late. They managed a 4-1 record when playing as the underdog and an SU record of 6-4. They sport the fourth-ranked offense in the AL, averaging five runs per game. The top hitting team in the league are the Royals, who have a .305 batting average. Kansas City is a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in the MLB with 18 stolen bases. The Royals are a problem for opposing batters, sporting an AL-low 2.88 ERA this season. They have a WHIP of 1.09 on the year, good for third in the league. The Kansas City pitching staff has been an intimidating group on the road this year, averaging 7.2 strikeouts per game.
The previous two games have all gone Kansas City's way. This game will feature Duffy (RHP) on the mound against the Indians, who have a 5-5 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The right-handed Salazar will take the mound against the Royals, who have a 6-4 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals sit at 9-5 against the division, while the Indians are 4-12
The Royals are 1-0 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Indians are 0-1 in such matchups.
The Royals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Indians who are heading in with a 1-5 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 0-3. The Indians have a 1-10 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City ranks in the bottom half of the league at 17th when it comes to home runs, hitting 16 this season. Cleveland ranks in the top half at 13th with 17.
Ranking first in hits, Kansas City has earned 10.42 per game this season. Cleveland ranks 12th with 7.78 hits.
Ranking 21st, Cleveland is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.661). Kansas City ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .815.
When the Royals allow at least one home run, they are 9-3. When the Indians allow one or more homers, they have a 4-9 record.