Matchup: Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals
Date/Time: August 31, 8:07 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: CLE: TJ House (2-3, 4.18) v. KC: Danny Duffy (8-11, 2.47)
Moneyline: Kansas City -169
Total: 8 -105/-115
The Cleveland Indians have won 13 of 18 to get back into the thick of the playoff race, while the Kansas City Royals are now tied with the Detroit Tigers atop the AL Central Division. The Indians will have an opportunity to go for a sweep on Sunday night. The Royals have lost five of their last seven after one of the best stretches in franchise history with a 16-4 start to the month of August and a 22-6 stretch between July 22 and August 22. Since the All-Star Break, the Indians are 23-17 and have allowed only 127 runs in that span.
The Indians could be in a precarious spot on Sunday, however, with TJ House on the mound. House is averaging just 5.1 innings per start and the Indians bullpen has been completely gassed. Bryan Shaw got Saturday off after working in six of the last eight days. Marc Rzepczynski worked in his fourth straight game. The bullpen threw 5.1 innings and seven relievers were used. A rain delay forced the Indians into using six different relievers on Friday. House has completed six innings just once in his last six starts. He gave up five runs in 4.2 innings in his last start against Chicago.
This is the first of what could be several huge starts down the stretch for Danny Duffy. Duffy has been a huge part of Kansas City’s recent success because of a 1.98 ERA since the All-Star Break. Duffy is just 3-2 in those starts, but the Royals are 6-2 in that span. Despite the quality ERA, Duffy has given up six unearned runs over those 50 innings. The Royals have only averaged 3.54 runs of support for Duffy and have scored two or fewer runs in 12 of his 21 starts. The Indians are just 20-20 against left-handed starters this season.
House will be facing the Royals for the second time his career. He picked up his first career Major League win against them on July 5 with three runs allowed over 6.2 innings of work. The Indians are 8-5 in House’s starts for a profit of 3.42 units.
Duffy will be pitching against the Indians for the sixth time in his career and for the fifth time as a starter. Duffy is 0-1 with a 2.40 ERA against the Indians this season. He has a 15/2 K/BB ratio in those 15 innings. In Duffy’s 21 starts this season, the Royals are 11-10 for a modest profit of 0.84 units.
Free MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals
The Indians probably won’t get a lot of length from TJ House and with a scheduling change that forced this game into primetime, Terry Francona will ride House as long as he can because the Indians play Detroit on Monday afternoon. The Indians have had a lot of trouble with southpaws, even though their record is respectable, and Duffy is one of the better lefties in the American League.