The Indians took the rubber game of their three-game set for the weekend against the Chicago White Sox. Cleveland shut out the White Sox 5-0 in the series finale on Sunday.
Kansas City lost their rubber game against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday afternoon on the road. The Royals’ lone victory came on Saturday with a convincing 11-3 win. Kansas City and Cleveland split a quick two-game series early in April and both were low-scoring battles.
The sportsbook is live for these MLB games. The series odds are very close for the American League Central rivals. The Indians -125 are the favorites but the Royals -105 have similar odds in a series that could go either way.
Royals Look to Extend AL Central lead
Kansas City made it seven wins in nine games in Saturday’s victory over the Twins. The Royals enter Monday with a 1.5 game lead over the White Sox for the top AL Central spot. Kansas City relied on their power game on Saturday as Andrew Benintendi led the way with two home runs. Salvador Perez contributed to the power surge with his sixth homer and Ryan O’Hearn also went deep. The Royals finished with 12 hits, including seven for extra bases, in the 11-3 victory.
Jakob Junis was scheduled to pitch the opening game of the series, but he has been moved to the bullpen. Daniel Lynch will get the call-up and start the game in his major league debut. Junis suffered a loss in his last start against the Pirates on Tuesday. He threw 6.1 innings and allowed two runs in six hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in a 2-1 defeat.
The Royals drafted the 24-year old Lynch in the first round of the 2018 Amateur Draft. Because there was no minor league season last year, Lynch has not pitched in a competitive game since the 2019 Fall League. He did pitch in spring training but he struggled with a 7.71 ERA, allowing 10 runs in 11.2 innings. We will have to see if nerves play a factor and if the Indians can get to the rookie early and put the pressure on him.
Indians Seeking Momentum
Cleveland is coming off of a series win against the White Sox, taking three out of four at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Indians are in the third spot in the AL Central, four games behind the Royals.
Cleveland finished with only five hits on Saturday against Chicago. Austin Hedges hit his second homer for the season, but that ended in the losing effort. Triston McKenzie took the loss on the mound as he had problems with his control. He allowed five runs on one hit with four walks and six strikeouts in two innings of work.
Aaron Civale will log his sixth start for Cleveland. He has a 4-0 record with a 2.94 ERA, 0.921 WHIP, nine walks, and 26 strikeouts in 33.2 innings. Civale earned a win in the last start that came against the Twins last Tuesday.
Civale threw 7.2 innings, allowing four runs on eight hits with no walks and four strikeouts in a 7-4 win for the Indians. In his last three starts, Civale is 2-0 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, six walks and 14 strikeouts over 19 innings. In his lone career start against the Royals, Civale took the loss in September 2020. Making his 28th career start, Civale will also pitch at Kauffman Stadium for the first time.
Full Game Prediction for MLB Betting
Monday’s game is between two AL Central rivals, so we can see a familiarity among these two. Kansas City had a good start to the season but will have a hard time in this contest. The lineup for Cleveland still has some issues, but the pitching is very solid. Civale has shown excellent form in his five starts and has gained four victories. With the rookie Lynch making the start, the Indians will look to exploit his inexperience. Civale gives the Indians an edge in game one and it will propel them to win the series. In the MLB sportsbook, our money is on Cleveland Indians.