MLB Picks: Stick To Home Favorites In Indians vs. Royals Game

Thursday, June 2, 2016 1:00 PM GMT

The torrid play of the Royals continued last night with their sixth straight victory as they prepare to open a four-game series in Cleveland. Let's review this matchup and the MLB odds.

Kansas City Royals (30-22, +7.8 units)
After ending the month of April on a five-game skid and stumbling through the middle of May, the defending World Champions have hit their stride and are now in the midst of a six-game winning streak. The Royals, winners of eight of their last nine, sit atop the AL Central ahead of the second place White Sox by two games after their 6-3 victory and series sweep over the Tampa Bay Rays last night. Tonight they begin a 10-game road trip starting in Cleveland before meeting the Orioles and White Sox for the three-game sets.

Tonight the Royals hand the ball to Royals to 24-year-old Yordano Ventura (4-3, 5.17 ERA, 1.52 WHIP), who has a 7.16 ERA in his last six starts and coming off his worst performance of the season when he allowed seven runs (six earned) on 11 hits over seven innings of work in what surprisingly turned into an 8-7 win for Kansas City over the White Sox last Saturday. Ventura is 4-2 when starting against the Indians with an ERA of 3.33 and a WHIP of 1.377 over his career. His team's record is 5-3 (+2.3 units) in these starts.


Cleveland Indians (27-24, -2.8 units)
The Indians avoided a series sweep at the hands of the Texas Rangers last night with a 5-4, 11th inning victory courtesy of a Yan Gomes single that drove home Lonnie Chisenhall. It was a welcome reprieve after learning earlier in the day that veteran Marlon Byrd was suspended for PED's for the remainder of the season. The 38-year-old Byrd was hitting .270 with five home runs and 19 RBI before being forced to call it quits. The Tribe called up rookie Tyler Naquin to take Byrd's spot in the outfield and will most likely be looking to deal for a veteran outfielder while All-Star Michael Brantley continues to rehab from a shoulder injury.

RHP Carlos Carrasco (strained left hamstring) will be activated from the 15-day disabled list and is slated to start against the Royals tonight. Carrasco (2-0, 2.45 ERA, 0.95 WHIP) was injured covering first base in the club's 6-3 win over the Tigers on April 24th. The 29-year-old native of Venezuela is 6-3 when starting against the Royals with an ERA of 3.44 and a WHIP of 1.132. His team's record is 7-4 (+2.8 units) in these starts.

Betting Analysis
In this matchup we have similar offenses going but the Indians have a big edge in the starting pitching. The MLB Odds makers have installed the Indians as sizeable favorites here and with good reason. Kansas City's starter Yordano Ventura has had control issues as evidenced by the fact that he has walked 33 batters on the season, a league high, while striking out jut 38 which has put him in some very precarious positions.

In addition, the Royals have gotten some very favorable breaks during their winning streak and eventually those breaks balance out over the course of a 162 game campaign. Cleveland has a +/- run differential of +27 while the Royals are at +10 on the year. Kansas City has also sustained some key injuries but the same could be said of Cleveland with Marlon Byrd's suspension and Michael Brantley's absence due to a strained shoulder.

While I am not wild about including big chalk in my MLB Picks, I believe that the Indians are just barely deserving of this line in light of the disparate pitching matchup. We should also consider that the Royals have not fared well on the highway this season with an 11-15 mark, equating to -3.4 units.

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MLB Pick: Cleveland Indians -155
Best Line Offered: at BetOnline
MLB Record: 26-15, +10.98 units