In this American League Central matchup, the rebuilding Kansas City Royals play against the surging Cleveland Indians. Entering this game at 15-28, the Royals don’t have much to play for. They’re in contention for the top pick in next year’s MLB Draft, and have a clear eye on their future at the moment. While the organization knows this is part of their plan, seeing them struggle as of late has to be disappointing. In their last 10 games, the Royals are 2-8, erasing any long-shot chance they had at making a run at the AL Wild Card spot.
The Cleveland Indians look ready to make a serious run this season. After a couple years of struggles, by their standards, they’re back in 2020 making a push at the AL Central. They’re neck and neck with the Chicago White Sox and Minnesota Twins for the top of the division, and are currently tied with the White Sox with a 26-16 record. To win the division, the Indians are going to have to continue getting dominant performances from their pitching staff, which is the best in the entire MLB at this point.
The Kansas City Royals aren’t making the playoffs. It’s time to evaluate for the future.In their last 10 games, the Royals are 2-8, falling completely out of the playoff picture. In their minds, that was all part of their plan. They have a young roster that is nowhere near ready for contention, and a stacked farm system. It’s pretty clear what their plan is: break the team down to the core and build it up from scratch. It’s going as planned to this point, as they are in contention for the top pick in the MLB Draft.
Unlike their opponent, the Royals starting pitching has let them down. Among starters with six or more starts, only Brad Keller has an ERA under three. Keller has been pitching well for this group, going 3-2 in his six starts with an ERA of 2.60. He looks to be a part of this team's future. The next closest starter is Danny Duffy, who is struggling to a 2-3 record with an ERA of 4.83.
The Cleveland Indians have one of the best pitching staffs in baseball. Can they lead them to a deep playoff run?The talk before the season was how the Indians were going to have to rely on a high-powered offense if they wanted to contend in this short season. While the offense has been doing their part, scoring 178 runs, it’s the pitching staff that is making this team a true contender going forward.
The Indians have given up only 126 runs, far and away the best mark in the league if we take into account games played. Let’s talk about their rotation. This team felt so good about their rotation that they traded away an ace in Mike Clevenger. Shane Bieber has to be the favorite for the AL Cy Young right now. Beiber has been phenomenal, sporting a 7-0 record to go along with a 1.25 ERA. Right behind Beiber is Zach Plesac. Plesac, in five starts, is 3-1 with an ERA of 1.32. With Carlos Carrasco, Triston McKenzie and Aaron Civale behind them, the Indians have a five-deep rotation that they could rely on when the playoffs come around. That alone makes them one of the favorites to win the whole thing.
- Cleveland is 24-10 as a favorite
- Cleveland is 12-6 as a home favorite
- The Royals are 14-28 as an underdog
- The Royals are 11-21 against the AL Central