|KC (-128) @ caesars|
10* Kansas City (2:10 ET): Yesterday marked a season-first for Cleveland as they finally won a one-run game. They’d previously been 0-4 in such affairs and were the only team in MLB yet to win one. The 5-4 win yday enabled the Tribe to pull into a three-way tie (w/ the Royals and White Sox) atop the AL Central (all teams 16-13). A discrepancy in performance in one-run games was a big reason the Royals (6-2 in one-run games) came into this series with a three-game lead over the Indians, but that’s now gone. However, I do see KC avoiding the dreaded four-game sweep at home due to who they’ll have on the mound Thursday afternoon.
In his 11th year with the club, left-hander Danny Duffy is having perhaps his best season for the Royals. He’s 4-1 w/ a microscopic 0.60 ERA and 0.967 WHIP. Some have credited an increased velocity on his fastball as the reason we’re seeing these results. Whatever the reason, Duffy has allowed just five total runs so far in 30 IP. He’s allowed four or fewer hits in four of the five starts. His very first start of 2021 was against Cleveland and he allowed only two hits in six shutout innings.
Even though they were facing Indians’ ace Shane Bieber, the Royals did jump out to a 4-0 lead in yesterday’s game. A three-run sixth then closed the gap for Cleveland, who then got homers from Jose Ramirez and Josh Naylor (in the 8th and 9th respectively) to “steal” the game. Kansas City actually outhit the Tribe 9-6. After giving up a grand slam in his last outing, Thursday’s starter for Cleveland (Triston McKenzie) is still winless (in four starts) and has a 7.20 ERA/1.733 WHIP this season. He walked the bases loaded before giving up that GS to the White Sox. McKenzie has yet to make it past the fifth inning. I like the pitching matchup from KC’s perspective and home teams don’t get swept in four game series very often. 10* Kansas City
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Winning Starts Here