Indians vs Royals MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Night.

Indians vs Royals MLB Lines & Pick for Thursday Night

Written by on July 25, 2019

The Cleveland Indians are one of the hottest teams in the American League and they have a good chance to gain more ground on AL Central-leading Minnesota when the Tribe open a series against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Cleveland is favored on the MLB Odds.

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Why Bet on Cleveland?

Is All-Star closer Brad Hand wearing down? Hand blew his second save of the season Tuesday in Toronto. Hand retired the first batter of the ninth inning as he tried to protect a one-run lead, but he hung a curveball to the second hitter he faced and Justin Smoak hit it out. The closer’s other blown save this season came nearly a month ago versus the Royals. He has been scored upon in three of his last four appearances.

Outfielder Oscar Mercado leads qualified AL rookies in batting average (.293) and stolen bases (9), while he ranks 2nd in OBP (.344) and OPS (.807) and 3rd in slugging (.463). Mercado’s 60 hits through his first 53 career games were the most by a Cleveland batter through 53 contests since Francisco Lindor had 63 hits through 53 games in 2015.

The Tribe’s Adam Plutko (3-2) allowed one earned run on two hits and a walk while striking out four across seven innings to take the loss Saturday against the Royals. Plutko effectively limited the Royals, though he was punished for his one mistake when he allowed a solo home run to Hunter Dozier in the first inning. Otherwise, only two other hitters reached scoring position across his remaining six innings of work.

The strong effort was needed for Plutko, as he had allowed 10 earned runs across 10 innings in his last two starts. It was also the first time Plutko topped 100 pitches since June 14. He now owns a 4.81 ERA but has a useful 1.09 WHIP as he has handed out only six free passes across 48.2 innings.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Runs: 4.57
  • Hits: 8.19
  • Walks: 3.52
  • Strike Outs: 8.22
Defense
  • Runs: 4.09
  • Hits: 7.91
  • Walks: 2.77
  • Strike Outs: 9.51

Why Bet on Kansas City?

The Royals remain without excellent young shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, and he likely won’t be reevaluated until the Royals get back to Kansas City on Thursday. Mondesi suffered a left shoulder subluxation last Tuesday night when he landed hard in foul territory while trying to make a diving catch. It’s likely he’ll remain on the injured list through the early part of August.

Outfielder Jorge Soler is on pace for 43 homers this season, which would top Mike Moustakas’ club-record of 38 set two seasons ago. Soler also ranks among the league leaders with 70 RBI this season, tying him for sixth in the AL. He’s also on pace for 112 RBI, which would be the most by a Royal since 2000, when Mike Sweeney (144) and Jermaine Dye (118) both enjoyed career years.

Indians vs Royals is going to be a good one.

In his Royals debut against Cleveland on Friday, Kansas City lefty Mike Montgomery (1-3) was on a 40-45 pitch count and hit 45 exactly in two-plus innings of work. He gave up one run through two innings but then let the first four hitters in the third reach base — all scored. It was Montgomery’s first start since being traded to the Royals from the Cubs.

Montgomery went 1-2 in 20 relief appearances for the Cubs, but the Royals will use him as a starter. He’s likely to be limited to 60-65 pitches in this one as his pitch count progresses with each start. His most recent extended stint as a starter came in 2018 with the Chicago Cubs. He went 5-5 with a 3.69 ERA, 1.35 WHIP and a 2.5-1 strikeout-walk ratio in 19 starts. While his season as a starter will be truncated, the Royals can afford to take a big-picture approach with Montgomery, who’ll be under club control for two more seasons after this one.

Team Stats

Offense
  • Runs: 4.37
  • Hits: 8.44
  • Walks: 2.86
  • Strike Outs: 8.63
Defense
  • Runs: 5.11
  • Hits: 9.24
  • Walks: 3.55
  • Strike Outs: 7.73

Indians vs Royals MLB Betting Trends

  • Indians are 5-1 in Plutko’s last 6 starts vs. a team with a losing record
  • Royals are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a right-handed starter
  • Indians are 8-1 SU in their last 9 games on the road
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Cleveland’s last 9 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
  • Royals are 6-1 SU in their last 7 games at home
  • The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Kansas City’s last 5 games played in July

Expert Final Score Prediction for Indians vs Royals

Cleveland Indians 7 – Kansas City Royals 4