MLB Picks and Parlays: Kansas City Faces Cleveland in AL Central Match-up
It has not been a good month for the Kansas City Royals. They stormed out of the gate to start the second half of the season, going 11-5 which brought them neck and neck with the Cleveland Indians heading into August. But while the Indians remained hot, the Royals went ice cold, and that’s especially true of their pitching staff.
They went 2-9 from July 31st through Aug. 11 which left them on the outside looking in on the wild card spot. But things have gotten better since then as they’ve posted a 7-5 record to hopefully stabilize the ship. They hosted Cleveland last weekend and dropped the first two games by a combined 15-1 score before a series finale 7-4 win.
Colorado came to town this week and they won the first two, before dropping Thursday’s game 3-2.
They are now a game back of Minnesota for the second wildcard spot with the Angels a half game ahead as well.
The Royals are averaging 4.77 RPG in August and their team ERA is 5.63.
Cleveland is coming off an intense four-game series with Boston that saw them win the opener with a 5-4 walk-off win. Boston then used some later clutch inning hits of their own to pull away in games two and three. Then with AL Cy Young favorite Chris Sale taking the mound, the Indians got to him early and often, scoring seven runs in three innings in a 13-6 win.
It was the seven through nine hitters accounting for most of the damage led by Yandy Diaz who scored four runs, Roberto Perez who got two RBIs and Giovanny Urshela who drove in four as well.
Cleveland’s team ERA this month is 3.48 and they’re averaging 4.77 RPG.
Jason Vargas (14-7, 3.59 ERA) has been the posterboy for struggling Royals pitchers in the month of August. He was 13-4 with a 3.00 ERA on July 28th. He’s got a 7.08 ERA in four August starts and the Indians have lost three of four. The Royals have allowed 27 runs in those four games. Last time out he gave up four runs in 4.2 innings in a 5-0 loss to the Indians. But as it stands he’s already tied his career best for wins and this is his lowest ERA with at least 20 starts in a season.
Ryan Merritt (0-0, 3.12 ERA) gets the start for Clevlenad. It his third start and fourth appearance this year. He’s yet to pitch more than four innings in a game, which he did back on June 17th. He allowed two runs (one earned) in 3.2 innings in a 4-2 loss to the Twins last time out.
- Kansas City is 2-6 ATS in its last 8 games
The total has gone OVER in 12 of Kansas City’s last 18 games
Kansas City is 2-9 ATS in its last 11 games on the road
- Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
Cleveland is 10-4 SU in its last 14 games
Cleveland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games at home
Cash It In: Cleveland are -130 favorites and Kansas City +110 underdogs. It is hard to bounce back on such a short turnaround of a series as intense as the one Cleveland just finished. It doesn’t help that their starter is unproven. That should give the Royals the edge here, even with Vargas struggling this month. Royals 7-5.