Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#917 Cleveland Guardians vs.
#918 Kansas City Royals
Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at 7:40pm EDT
Written by The Tower

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There hasn't been a lot of impressive AL Central baseball this season, especially not on the offensive side of the ball. Regardless, the Cleveland Guardians (72-79) and Kansas City Royals (49-102) aren't done quite yet. They'll meet again on Tuesday night after the Royals rallied for a 6-4 win on Monday afternoon. So far, the Guardians are still ahead 7-4 in the season series. Kauffman Stadium is hosting this series, with game two's first pitch scheduled for 7:40 p.m. EDT. Here's how each team is lined up for round two.

Cleveland Failed to Guard AL Central Title

With Minnesota's magic number down to five after Cleveland's early Monday loss, time is almost up for this club. They had a chance all year long but the offense, which is 27th in runs per game, could never get things going. Hitting the fewest homers in the majors is probably why, as Cleveland never fixed 2022's primary issue. They still seldom strike out, steal a lot of bases, and have a solid team batting average. However, the lack of power (or walks) is still burning them. At least they'll know what to address in the offseason again.

Pitching will never be an issue for the Guardians apparently. Young arms keep popping up and delivering for Cleveland whenever called upon. Rookie lefty Logan Allen is one of those young men, making his 24th career start (all this season) on Tuesday. Two of the first 23 came against the Royals, culminating in five runs allowed (four earned) across 10.2 innings. He has a 3.23 ERA on the road, including consecutive starts holding opposing teams to one run. The Guardians have a solid bullpen too, so they are capable of shutting down the Royals.

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Kansas City Heat?

Kansas City has a weak offense too, but an equally ineffective pitching staff is why they're fighting for MLB's worst record. Their bullpen is awful, especially after trading away Aroldis Chapman. They rank 24th in groundball rate and 25th in FIP. When it comes to WAR, ERA, and left-on-base percentage (LOB%) they're 27th or worse league-wide. Reliever Steven Cruz is supposed to start this game, so Royals fans may get a healthy dose of that bullpen. The rookie has tossed 6.1 consecutive scoreless innings after a rough debut, but will only handle a few innings of this game if Kansas City gets a best-case scenario. Cruz setting the tone early will be instrumental to the flow of this game. 


Now, back to the offense which crept above Cleveland to 26th in runs per game this year. Outside of base stealing, one of many things that Bobby Witt Jr. leads the team in, the Royals are also a rough watch at the plate. They're 29th in walk rate and 28th in OBP. Their home run tally and slugging percentage are also in the bottom third of MLB's offensive rankings. September has surprisingly been kind to Kansas City, as they're plating 5.57 runs per game (6th) halfway through. Only a few weeks remain, so they may sprint through the finish line. 

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Royals are having a strong September, scoring nearly six runs per game after Monday's 6-4 win. Offensive production is the one area that Kansas City has Cleveland beat, and their numbers drastically improve at home. When Logan Allen last faced the Royals, he gave up five runs (four earned) in Cleveland. Now that this is in The K, Kansas City should tee off again, especially with how they're swinging lately.

It'll be on the pitching staff to nullify one of MLB's worst offenses. That's an achievable task, with Steven Cruz serving as an opener. He should keep Cleveland off the board early, and the pitching change after should have a struggling Cleveland lineup on its heels. Take the Royals to win at home again.

Prediction: Kansas City Royals +140

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


Logan Allen did not have fun facing Kansas City in Cleveland on July 24. That was the last time he faced them, allowing five runs (four earned) and two homers at home. Kansas City hits significantly better at home. Their slash line is .257/.319/.419 at Kauffman, leading to 4.71 runs per game. The Royals will probably have another healthy day at the dish.

As for the Guardians, they're going to have their hands full with a Royals bullpen that stinks. ERA, FIP, WAR, and LOB% are all areas where the Royals' relievers are a bottom 10 unit. Steven Cruz is opening this game, so a bullpen game is likely coming from Kansas City. That group isn't stopping many offenses. Take the over for a second straight game.

Prediction: Over 9.5

Written By Andre Ifill , "The Tower"

Watching, playing, and talking about sports has always been an essential part of my life. I graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in Communication, and now, I'm striving to be an essential voice in sports media for decades to come. You'd be hard-pressed to find someone more competitive than me, and that extends into my sports betting predictions as well. We're all here to win, and my goal is to make that happen every single night while letting my personality shine in the process. I am honored to be apart of this team.  

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