When: 8:15 PM ET, Friday, September 30, 2016
Where: Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Lines: Kansas City -124/ Cleveland +114
Tonight in Major League Baseball the Cleveland Indians will battle it out with the Kansas City Royals in game one of their three game series from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. The Royals have won five of their last seven home games in this series. Pitching Probables: Josh Tomlin vs Yordano Ventura.
Indians Are Ready For The Playoffs
The Cleveland Indians have not played well since clinching the division, but they haven’t really needed tom as they have nothing more to play for, until the playoffs that is. They have a solid core of offensive players including Mike Napoli, Francisco Lindor, Jason Kipnis and Carlos Santana. THey have led to the Indians ranking 4th in the league in scoring, putting up 4.82 rpg, while also ranking 6th in hitting at .262 and 18th in homers with 183. The Indians have hit .234 overall on the road, including .228 vs righties. Cleveland averages 4.01 rpg and allows 4.18 rpg on the road. This is a very good offensive team, but they also know how to pitch as well and while they have dealt with some injuries they should be getting back at least Danny Salazar for the postseason. This is a solid starting crew when healthy and could be what they need to lead them.
On the mound the Tribe comes in ranked 7th in the league in ERA at 3.87 and 6th in WHIP at 1.25. On the road Cleveland starters have an ERA of 3.80, while their pen has an ERA of 4.02. Taking the hill for the Indians in this game will be Adam Plutko, who is making his first MLB start. He has two appearances out of the pen for the Tribe and has allowed three ERs on five hits in just 3.2 innings of work in those games. In the minors this year he was 9-8 with a 3.73 ERA in 28 combined starts for Akron (AA) and Columbus (AAA).
Kansas City Home For The Postseason
Last year at this time the Kansas City Royals were preparing for a playoff run that would eventually win them the World Series. This year they are preparing for their October vacations. They just didn’t have the same magic they had last year. They couldn’t win on the road, their starting pitching was a mess for most of the year and their offense was very inconsistent. All of that is not good and the reason why they are home for for the postseason this year. With Eric Hosmer, Salvador Perez, Kendrys Morales and Alex Gordon they have a solid nucleus to build around for next year, but they must fix that starting pitching as well. Getting the nod for the Royals will be Yordano Ventura, who has gone 11-11 with a 4.40 ERA in 31 starts this year, including 1-1 with a 5.47 ERA in his last three starts and 7-4 with a 4.41 ERA in 13 starts here at home. Ventura is now 14-9 with a 4.08 ERA in his last 27 starts here at Kauffman Stadium, while vs the Indians he is 4-2 with a 3.13 ERA in nine starts.
The offense for the Royals comes in ranked 23rd in the league in scoring, putting up just 4.19 rpg, while also ranking 7th in hitting at .262 and 27th in homers with 146. Kansas City has hit .268 overall at home, including .260 vs righties. The Royals have averaged 4.73 rpg and have allowed 4.52 rpg at home for the year. On the mound they check in ranked 17th in the league in ERA at 4.19, while also ranking 18th in WHIP at 1.35. At home Royal starters come in with an ERA of 4.47 while their pen has an ERA of 3.87.
- 2-6 in their last eight road games vs. a team with a home winning % of greater than .600
- 1-4 in their last five road games vs. a team with a winning record
Kansas City is:
- 5-0 in their last five home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- 5-0 in their last five home games overall
The Royals are the play here. Neither team has anything to play for in this game and the Royals would love to finish the season strong and taking it to the Cleveland Indians would be a good confidence builder as they head to the offseason. The Royals have played well at home this year, while the Indians have been very mediocre on the road and that should continue in this one.