MLB Pick: Carrasco & Volquez Will Make Indians & Royals Stay Under

Monday, June 13, 2016 4:00 PM GMT

There could be a pitching duel in Kansas City Monday evening with Carlos Carrasco and the Indians paying a visit to Edinson Volquez and the Royals, so make ‘under’ your MLB pick.

Look for a relatively low scoring affair in an American League Central matchup Monday night when the underrated Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland Indians (35-27, 18-15 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Edinson Volquez and the Kansas City Royals (32-30, 19-7 home) in the first game of a three-game series from Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO at 8:15 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Kansas City.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 8 for this contest with the current MLB Odds on the ‘under' set at -115.

Top Two Teams in the AL Central
The Indians have been the hottest team in the Central Division as they have now won nine of their last 12 games after taking two out of three games from the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim over the weekend leaving Cleveland in first place with a three-game lead. This does not come as a surprise to the many experts that picked the Tribe to dethrone Kansas City as division champions before the season on the strength of great starting pitching.

Meanwhile the defending World Champion Royals are hoping to be tied for first place with the Indians by the time this series is over as they are in second place and three games behind, and they have certainly been comfortable here at Kauffman Stadium going 19-7 this season. Kansas City must be overjoyed about returning home too after beginning its just completed road trip with an eight-game losing streak before being the winning MLB Picks the last two games.

Carrasco Dominated in This Stadium
Carrasco is one of those great starting pitchers that was expected to take the Indians to the promised land this year, and he was off to a fine start until badly injuring his hamstring on April 24th and then spending over a month on the disabled list. He has made two mediocre starts since making his return on June 2nd but seems primed to regain his best form vs. a lineup he has done well against.

Carrasco made his return vs. these Royals in Cleveland and was touched up for three runs on nine hits in five innings, and then the Mariners hit two home runs off of him in Seattle last Wednesday when he allowed four runs in 6.2 innings. However, he only allowed five hits in that contest and had six strikeouts vs. one walk.

He should now be stronger for his third start back and remember that he has a 2.03 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over his last seven career starts against the Royals with 53 strikeouts in 48.2 innings vs. just 11 walks, even after that dull outing 11 days ago. And Carrasco will never forget his last start at Kauffman Stadium last season when he tossed a Complete Game one-hit shutout with 15 strikeouts!

Volquez Better at Home
Now, we freely admit that Volquez has been very mediocre for the Royals this season going 5-6 with a 4.25 ERA and 1.40 WHIP, but a lot of his problems have come on the road where he has been miserable, as he is now 2-4 with a bloated 6.82 ERA and 1.76 WHIP after allowing four earned runs while lasting only 4.2 innings vs. the Orioles in Baltimore on Wednesday.

Luckily Volquez is pitching at home tonight where he has actually been quite good, posting a winning 3-2 record that should probably be better given his 2.38 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in Kansas City over seven starts covering 45.1 innings. Even his command ratio is far superior here at home, where he has 39 strikeouts vs. 10 walks compared to a poor ratio of 25 strikeouts vs. 19 walks on the road.

Those severe splits could continue here as the worst batting split for the Indians this year has been vs. right-handed pitchers on the road, where they are batting a mere .205 while averaging only 3.50 runs per game, which should help keep this contest fairly low scoring.

Royals Struggling to Score Runs
Finally, aside from those struggles of the Indians' offense vs. righties on the road, the Royals had a devil of a time generating runs vs. their just completed 10-game road trip, averaging a woeful 2.00 runs per game over the trek. Yes, they are returning home tonight but they are also facing a probably underrated starter that dominated them the last time he pitched in this stadium.

With all of this in mind, our recommendation is to go ‘under' in a game where runs should be at a premium when Cleveland visits Kansas City on Monday.

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Free MLB Pick: Under 8 -115
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
MLB Record: 37-34-2, +5.66