Cleveland Indians (66-52) vs. Kansas City Royals (61-59)
MLB Baseball: Friday, August 18th, 8:15 pm EST
Corey Kluber (11-3, 2.71 ERA) vs. Ian Kennedy (4-8, 4.80 ERA)
Line: Indians -200
The Indians and the Royals play a huge three-game series over the weekend in Kansas City. The Indians have own five straight including the first of a double header early on Thursday, and they now lead the Royals by six games and the Twins by seven in the AL Central. With respect to the Dodgers, the Indians are playing the second-best baseball in the league, along with the Red Sox. The Astros seem to be stuck in neutral.
The Royals, are only six games out of first place in the division, but they are also only a half game from the all important second wild card spot. There are many teams within a few games, so all of these series are big coming in, but the fact that they are playing the Indians makes it even more important. The Royals have lost six of 10.
Kluber has been amazing
Corey Kluber really looked terrible in his last start, giving up three earned runs and only striking out nine batters. Yes, I’m kidding, but it’s not really a joke the way that Kluber has been pitching. He’s been on one of the better streaks I’ve seen in a long time. Before his three run “explosion, a game in which he still one, he had given up exactly one earned run in six of eight starts.
More impressive than that was his strikeout streak. Before only striking out nine in his latest, he had struck out 11 or more in six straight starts. Amazing stuff. On the season, he has struck out 192 batters in 139 innings. His WHIP is .91 and his batting average against is .191. He’s been utterly fantastic.
Kennedy looks to trade zeroes
Ian Kennedy gets the call for the Royals on Friday, and he’ll be looking to trade zeroes with Corey Kluber. If Kennedy is hoping to get his fifth win of the year, he’s going to have to pitch great, because you can’t expect the Royals will be scoring too many runs. That seems like it might be a tall order for Kennedy. He’s allowed 13 earned runs over his last three starts.
He went 0-2 with a no-decision during that three game stretch, and his W/L record has dropped to 4-8 on the season. His ERA is 4.80 which is pretty high, considering his other numbers aren’t so bad. Batters are hitting only .228 against him and he’s got a very impressive WHIP of 1.23. He needs to pitch better with runners on base, because his base numbers are quite good.
The Cleveland Indians are:
- 14-3 in their last 17 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- 10-1 in Kluber’s last 11 starts during game 1 of a series.
The Kansas City Royals are:
- 1-5 in Kennedy’s last 6 starts with 5 days of rest.
- 2-8 in Kennedy’s last 10 starts vs. a team with a winning record.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games following an off day.
Not sure how you can bet against Corey Kluber right now. The guy is fantastic every time out and I expect him to be just that on Friday. Let’s take the Indians on the road. Kennedy just doesn’t have the stuff to match zeroes with Kluber.