Cleveland Indians (91-67) vs. Kansas City Royals (81-77)
MLB: Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 4:15pm EST
Line: Cleveland -110/Kansa City +100
The Cleveland Indians will play their second last game before heading to the Playoffs as they take on the Kansas City Royals Saturday afternoon from Kauffman Stadium. The Indians will give the nod to 25-year old right hander Trevor Bauer, and the Royals will send 33-year old right hander Edison Volquez to the hill.
Bauer Looks to End on High Note after Rough September
Trevor Bauer will get the nod as he make his 28th start of the season, aiming for his 13th win. Bauer conceded four runs including two home runs to the White Sox over 7.2 innings in his previous start, but still got the win. The Indians right hander really struggled in September, and now sits at 12-8 with a 4.26 ERA and a 1.31 WHIP in 184 innings of work. He has yet to face the Royals this season, and is sporting a solid 3.41 ERA with a 1-2 record in his career against Kansas City. Lorenzo Cain is 4 for 15 with a homer against Bauer, while Salvador Perez is just 1 for 16, and Eric Hosmer is 5 for 14.
Francisco Lindor has enjoyed success against the Royals pitching this season, hitting .345 with four homers and ten RBI’s. The 22-year old shortstop has slowed down this month but is one of the best young hitters in the game, now hitting .300 with 14 home runs and 72 RBI’s on the season. The Indians offense has been solid all season, now averaging 4.82 runs per game, good for fourth in all of baseball, and are hitting .262 as a team. The Cleveland pitching has been outstanding, sporting a 3.87 team ERA, good for seventh in the Major Leagues.
Volquez Aims for First Win Since August
Edison Volquez will make his 34th start of the season, looking to bring his record to an even 11-11. Volquez struggled in his previous start, lasting just 2.2 innings after allowing four runs with four walks to the Tigers. The hard throwing right hander hasn’t gotten into a groove all season, posting a terrible 5.37 ERA with a 1.54 WHIP in 184.1 innings of work. He has pitched well against Cleveland this season, conceding 13 runs in 31.1 innings pitched, giving him a solid 3.74 ERA with a 1-2 record but still owns a weak 5.84 ERA in his career against Cleveland. Mike Napoli is 3 for 18 against Volquez, while Jason Kipnis is 8 for 25, and Carlos Santana is 3 for 24 with three homers.
Kendrys Morales has reached the 30 home run mark for the second time of his career this year after belting 34 homers back in 2009 with the Angels. The 33-year old DH has collected four RBI’s over his last four games, and really carried the Royals offense this season, hitting .265 with 30 home runs and 93 RBI’s. The low-scoring Royals are averaging 4.20 runs per game, placing them down at 23rd overall, and have a .262 team batting average. The Kansas City pitching has not been nearly as effective as last season, posting a 4.21 team ERA, ranking them 17th in the Majors.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- 1-4 in Bauer’s last 5 road starts.
- 1-4 in their last 5 road games against a team with a winning record.
- 1-4 in Bauer’s last 5 Saturday starts.
The Kansas City Royals are:
- 5-1 in their last 6 home games.
- 5-1 in Volquez’s last 6 Saturday starts.
- 12-5 in Volquez’s last 17 starts against the AL Central.
I am taking the Royals in this one. Bauer has really struggled as of late, posting a 6.75 ERA last month so I’m confident the Royals can score some runs off him. Also, Volquez has performed well against the Indians this season, posting a 3.73 ERA with a .205 opponent batting average, so he should be able to contain Cleveland’s offense. The Indians will likely be resting a few players as well, and I think the Royals take this one.