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Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians Free Pick - 9/16/13

Cleveland Indians (80-68) at Kansas City Royals (77-71)

MLB Baseball: Monday, September 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm (Kauffman Stadium)

Scott Kazmir (L) (8-8) (4.243) vs. James Shields (R) (11-9) (3.381)

The Line: Kansas City Royals -155 / Cleveland Indians +140 --- Over/Under: 8 See the Latest Odds

TV: SportTime Ohio, FS-Kansas City

The Kansas City Royals play host to the Cleveland Indians in the crucial series opener Monday.

Whether Cleveland lands a spot in the postseason or not remains to be seen but they certainly have been doing their part to secure a Wild Card berth. The Indians downed the White Sox 7-1 on Sunday for win number eight in eleven with both the hitting and pitching contributing. Zack McAllister had little problem in controlling the Chicago bats with the lone run allowed on six hits over 6.2 innings pitched. The bats hit Chris Sale hard with Asdrubel Cabrera smacking a three run bomb with Nick Swisher going solo twice while Matt Carson homered and drove in two runs. Left hander Scott Kazmir draws Monday's starting assignment versus the Royals. Kazmir has been a bit up and down over the past month or so and has posted a record of 3-4 over his last ten appearances.

Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians Free Pick - 9/16/13

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kansas City needed a strong series in the Motor City over the weekend and although they did just that the Royals still dropped two of three which put a dent in their postseason drive. The Royals have gotten some competitive pitching and hitting overall but only the work on the mound stood out in a 3-2 defeat at Detroit on Sunday. Jeremy Guthrie wiggled out of plenty of trouble with all three runs allowed despite being tagged for 13 hits and walking one in an eight inning complete game. The bats totaled just six hits and walked once with Alex Gordon leaving the yard with a wild pitch plating another run. Kansas City looks to squeeze another win out of James Shields who faces Cleveland Monday. Shields rebounded from 16-2 loss to Detroit to upend these same Indians 6-2 with two runs plated over eight innings.

Seems like Shields has been in this pressure cooker a lot lately with the team desperately needing him to come up huge. I'll back him but Cleveland is red hot which makes the chalk too much for me to lay...

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