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Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals Free Pick 9/9/13

Kansas City Royals (74-68) at Cleveland Indians (75-66)

MLB Baseball: Monday, September 9, 2013 at 7:05 pm (Progressive Field)

Ervin Santana (R) (8-8) (3.326) vs. Ubaldo Jimenez (R) (10-9) (3.787)

The Line: Cleveland Indians -115 / Kansas City Royals -105 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-Kansas City, SportsTime Ohio

The Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Royals face-off on Monday in an AL Central battle as they both look to keep their postseason hopes alive.

The Cleveland Indians have had some chances to make a run at the top of the AL Central, but when given the chance they have failed to deliver. The Indians are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 44-28 at home this season, and they trail the Tigers by 5.5 games. As a team, the Indians are hitting .252, with Jason Kipnis hitting .282, Michael Brantley hitting .278, and Carlos Santana hitting .262. For game one against the Royals, the Indians start Ubaldo Jimenez, who is 10-9 on the season with a 3.79 ERA and 1-2 in his last three starts with a 2.37 ERA.

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Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals Free Pick 9/9/13

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals have been streaky this season, but they have never been able to ride their hot streaks long enough nor cut their cold steaks short enough to really get into contention in the AL Central. The Royals are 6-4 in their last 10 games, 35-33 on the road this season, and they are seven games behind the Tigers in the A.L. Central. As a team the Royals are hitting .261, with Eric Hosmer hitting .302, Billy Butler hitting .294, and Salvador Perez hitting .285. For Monday’s game, the Royals start Ervin Santana, who is 8-8 with a 3.33 ERA for the season and 0-1 with a 5.29 in his last three starts.

Cleveland is 4-1 in their last five games, 4-12 against a team with a winning record, and 6-2 in Jimenez’s last eight starts. Kansas City is 5-1 in their last six games against the AL Central, 3-6 in their last nine games as an underdog, and 1-4 in Santana’s last five starts. Kansas City is 2-6 in the last eight meetings of these two.

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Jimenez seems to be improving, while Santana is trailing off and their teams are pretty close to even, so I give the edge to the Indians at home.

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