Kansas City Royals (36-50) vs. Cleveland Indians (42-42)
July 9, 2021 7:10 pm EDT
The Line: Cleveland Indians -134 / Kansas City Royals +124 ; Over/Under: 9.5
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The Kansas City Royals and the Cleveland Indians meet Friday in MLB action from Progressive Field. This will be the second installment in a four-game set between these teams over the weekend. In the Thursday opener, the Indians secured a three-run win. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Kansas City managed a Tuesday win over the Reds but lost the other two games in that set 6-2 and 5-2. In the opener versus the Indians Thursday, the Royals had a 3-0 lead at one point but eventually lost 7-4. Danny Duffy lasted 5.0 innings with four hits, three walks and one earned.
For the starter job in the Friday game, the Royals will send out Brad Keller. Across his 87.1 innings of work this year, Keller has 115 hits, 68 runs (62 earned), 13 homers allowed, 44 walks, 74 Ks and a 6.39 ERA.
Over on the Indians’ side, they played the Rays this week. Cleveland lost all three of those games 9-8, 8-1 and 4-0. On Thursday the Indians managed three ninth-inning runs in the comeback win. Zach Plesac put up 4.0 innings with three earned on five hits.
For the Friday starting pitcher role, the Indians will go with Triston McKenzie. This year so far McKenzie is 1-3 with a 6.38 ERA and 59 strikeouts in 11 games (10 starts) and 42.1 innings pitched overall.
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The Royals are 19-39 in their last 58 on grass and 7-24 in their last 31 road games. KC is 2-7 in their last nine in game two of a series and the over is 5-2 in their last seven Friday games.
Meanwhile, the Indians are 1-8 in their last nine Friday games and 0-6 in their last six in game two of a series. Cleveland is 106-52 in their last 158 home games versus a team with a losing record and the over is 6-2 in the last eight Friday games.
PICK: I’m going to stick with the Indians, but probably staying away. The good news is that Keller is coming off a nice start on July 4 versus the Twins, posting 6.1 innings with five hits and two earned. The bad news is that Keller gave up 26 earned runs in his five starts prior to that. Cleveland should have some opportunities to score here if they can get the bats going.