MLB Picks and Parlays: Kansas City and Cleveland Continue Their Series Saturday Night
Kansas City Royals must have known that against a red-hot Indians team, their best bet to create momentum would be on Friday night. That’s because Cleveland Indians was just coming off a four-game series with Boston including a game that ended late Thursday night. The Indians figured to be emotionally drained after playing one of the best in the Majors all week. The Royals in the meanwhile had Thursday off to prepare.
What they didn’t account for was the gem of a pitching performance that rookie Ryan Merritt hurled at them in a 4-0 defeat. He was called up to replace the injured Danny Salazar and combined with three relievers to post the Indians AL leading 13th shutout of the season.
Cleveland put two on the board in the third on keys hits from Giovanny Urshela and Austin Jackson. Francisco Lindor then hit his 23rd homer to bring home the other two runs in the fifth.
The Royals are now seven games out of first and falling fast. They are just 9-15 since July 31st and are now 1.5 games behind the Twins for the last wildcard spot.
Cleveland earned a hard-fought split in their four-game set with Boston and are now 23-11 in their last 34 games and 11-4 in their last 15. That includes taking two of three from the Royals last weekend where they allowed just one run in their two wins.
Kansas City is averaging 4.57 RPG in August and the team ERA is 5.81
Cleveland is averaging 4.70 RPG and the team ERA is 3.60
Jason Hammel (6-9, 4.73 ERA) has a 4.63 ERA in four August starts. He gave up three runs in six innings of a 7-4 win over the Indians last time out. It snapped a string of three straight games the Royals had lost with him on the mound.
Mike Clevinger (6-5, 3.97 ERA) has not been a reliable pitcher of late. It’s a long season and since hitting a wall in July he’s been bouncing back and forth between the bullpen and rotation. Clevinger gave up four runs in 4.1 innings of a 5-4 win over the Red Sox last time out. He’s got a 5.40 ERA in August after allowing nine runs in 15 innings.
- Kansas City is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kansas City’s last 6 games
Kansas City is 2-10 ATS in its last 12 games on the road
- Cleveland is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games
Cleveland is 11-4 SU in its last 15 games
Cleveland is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games at home
Cash It In: The Indians are -155 favorites, the Royals +135 underdogs. I think in spite of Clevinger’s struggles this is his team’s game to win. They have the Royals on the ropes in the Al Central and their experience should help them deliver a knockout punch. Indians 7-3.