Matchup: Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians

Date/Time: September 21, 7:05 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: KC: Danny Duffy (8-11, 2.42) v. CLE: Carlos Carrasco (8-5, 2.65)

Moneyline: Cleveland -122

Total: 7

The Kansas City Royals have a 1.5-game lead on the Seattle Mariners and a 3.5-game lead on the Cleveland Indians entering Monday’s action, but Monday night presents an interesting set of circumstances. The Royals will have their bottom of the 10th inning at bat against the Indians from a suspended game on August 31. The Indians lead that game 4-2 and will need just three outs to move to within 2.5 games of the Royals. A win in the scheduled game could close the gap to 1.5 games.

Danny Duffy will make his first start since September 6 after being shut down with some arm discomfort in his surgically-repaired left arm, though the latest trouble is in his shoulder, not his elbow. Duffy lasted one pitch in his last start and left the game. An MRI showed no structural damage, so the Royals simply took it easy with Duffy and he will return on Monday. Duffy had a 1.87 ERA in the 10 starts he made before the one-pitch outing. He allowed just 13 earned runs in that span and opposing batters hit just .195.

Carlos Carrasco has been absolutely outstanding for the Indians of late. With Justin Masterson gone to St. Louis and no clear-cut number two starter behind Kluber, Carrasco’s emergence has been a big reason why the Indians have been able to stay in the hunt. Since returning to the rotation full-time on August 10, Carrasco is 5-1 with a 1.17 ERA. He threw a “Maddux” in his last start, a complete game shutout on less than 100 pitches and tied the record for most strikeouts in such a game with 12. He has a 59/7 K/BB ratio in 54 innings over his last eight starts.

Duffy will be facing the Indians for the seventh time overall and the sixth time in a start. The southpaw is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA over 32 innings against the Tribe. He is 0-1 with a 2.08 ERA this season in 21.2 innings. The Royals are 11-11 in Duffy’s 22 starts for a loss of 0.16 units.

Carrasco is 2-3 with a 5.26 ERA in 11 career appearances, six starts, against the Royals. This season, Carrasco has three relief appearances against the Royals with one run allowed in four innings. The Indians are 6-6 in Carrasco’s 12 starts for a loss of 1.86 units, though they have won five of his last eight.

Free MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals

The Indians have had major trouble with left-handed starters on the season and Duffy throws with his left hand. The Indians could take advantage of Duffy’s return if he is erratic, but for right now, the Indians have to prove that they can beat one of the American League’s better lefties and they have shown no indication of that so far.

Matchup: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers

Date/Time: September 21, 10:10 p.m. ET

TV: MLB Network

MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: SF: Jake Peavy (6-4, 2.16) v. LAD: Dan Haren (13-11, 4.14)

Moneyline: Los Angeles -120

Total: 7

Jake Peavy has been terrific for the Giants of late and he’s going to need to be again as the Giants were swept by the Padres and now trail the Dodgers by 4.5 games in the NL West. San Francisco still maintains a firm grip on one of the two wild card spots, but they may have to travel to Pittsburgh, who has now tied them with an 84-71 record. The Dodgers, meanwhile, have clinched a playoff berth and their magic number is down to four in the NL West.

The San Francisco Giants may have fallen even more off the pace if not for the pitching of Jake Peavy. Peavy is 6-4 with a 2.16 ERA in 10 starts for the Giants after posting a 1-9 record and a 4.72 ERA for the Red Sox. Take away Peavy’s first two starts for the Giants and he’s 6-2 with a 1.51 ERA. The Giants are 6-1 in Peavy’s last seven starts. Peavy has allowed just 60 baserunners over his last eight starts.

Dan Haren was 5-3 with a 3.28 ERA over the first two months of the season. Since then, he’s 8-8 with a 4.70 ERA. In those 19 starts, Haren has allowed 18 home runs and opposing batters are slugging .434. Haren has allowed three runs or less in 18 of his 30 starts. Before allowing five runs in five innings in his last start, Haren had allowed just two earned runs in his previous 26 innings.

Peavy will be facing the Dodgers for the 27th time. He’s 14-3 with a 2.28 ERA in those starts. However, most of those starts came when Peavy was a member of the San Diego Padres and he has only faced the Dodgers twice over the last two seasons. Every other start occurred last decade. The Giants are 6-4 for a profit of 1.31 units in Peavy’s 10 starts.

Haren will be facing the Giants for the 18th time with 17 starts and one relief appearance. He is 6-6 with a 3.05 ERA. He has yet to face the Giants this season and has only one start against them since 2009. The Dodgers are 15-15 in Haren’s 30 starts for a loss of 1.48 units.

Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants

Jake Peavy has been tremendous of late for the Giants and the Dodgers are back home after a 10-game road trip. The Giants let the Dodgers have some cushion atop the NL West and it wouldn’t be a big surprise to see a flat effort out of the Dodgers in this one.