Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals Preview
Where: Kaufmann Stadium – Kansas City, MO
When: Friday, August 18, 2017 – 8:15 PM ET
TV Broadcast: CSCh, FSSW
MLB World Series News and Previews
- Cleveland Indians vs. Minnesota Twins Preview –August 17, 2017
- Tampa Bay Rays vs. Toronto Blue Jays – August 17, 2017
- Chicago White Sox vs. Texas Rangers Betting Preview – August 17, 2017
Betting on the Cleveland Indians (66-53)
The Cleveland Indians had their six-game winning streak snapped on Thursday with a 4-2 defeat to the Minnesota Twins. The Indians simply had no answer for Max Kepler who hit a go-ahead home run in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the loss, the Indians’ lead at the top of the AL Central has been whittled down to 5.5 games.
The Indians will look to get their season back on track when they face the Royals in their series opener tonight. Starting for Cleveland in this critical clash is Corey Kluber (11-3, 2.71 ERA). The 31-year-old wasn’t as dominant Sunday against the Tampa Bay Rays but still managed to rack up more than eight strikeouts for an incredible 14th consecutive start. He limited the Rays to just three runs in that ballgame to help Cleveland pick up the 11-3 victory. The Indians ace has been a man possessed since coming off the disabled list at the beginning of June, posting an 8-1 slate with a remarkable 1.85 ERA and 151:17 K:BB ratio across 14 starts (102.1 innings).
As fabulous as Kluber has been this season, he can’t do it all by himself. Expected to lead the Indians offense in the series opener against the Royals is the red-hot Austin Jackson. The center fielder is 6-of-18 in his last five games with two homers and five RBIs. When healthy, Jackson’s bat has been a godsend to Cleveland’s inconsistent lineup. The eight-year veteran went 0-for-3 last night in the 4-2 loss to Minnesota.
Betting on the Kansas City Royals (61-59)
The Kansas City Royals returned to winning ways Wednesday with a thrilling 7-6 victory over the Oakland Athletics. Alex Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the ninth to lift the Royals to their fourth win in their last five games. The Royals will look to carry the momentum of that huge victory when they lock horns with the Cleveland Indians in their series opener Friday night.
Starting for Kansas City in this encounter is Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA). After two heavy losses, Kennedy bounced back in his last start against the Chicago White Sox, allowing just three runs in 6.1 innings of action on August 12. The right-hander didn’t factor into the decision, however, as he is now 0-2 with a 7.16 ERA in the month of August (16.1 innings).
Kennedy will need all the help he can get against a Cleveland team that’s firing on all cylinders right now. One guy who needs to contribute for the Royals is Alcides Escobar. The shortstop is batting .444 (12-of-27) in his last seven games. Another player who’s swinging the bat well for Kansas City is Mike Moustakas. The third baseman is 11-of-28 in his last seven games with three homers and four RBIs. Moustakas will be licking his chops at the prospect of facing Kluber as he is 17-of-37 (.459) in his career against the Cleveland ace with a homer and four RBIs.
Cleveland (-200) wins, 6-2.
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