Kansas City Royals vs Cleveland Indians Predictions, Odds & Picks
- Cleveland turns to its ace to get back in the win column
- Royals winning in all types of ways
- Identifying the X-factor to watch
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Kansas City Royals vs Cleveland Indians Predictions and Picks
The Indian’s offense isn’t clicking right now, but it doesn’t have to be when Shane Bieber is on the bump. Dating back to 2020, Bieber has gone six innings or more in 11 of 14 games and has struck out 10 or more batters on nine separate occasions.
The Royals bats have cooled off a bit, scoring just six runs over their last two games after 25 in the first two. In the end, this has less to do with Kansas City and more with Bieber, who won’t leave trailing in the game for the second straight start.
Indians to Win
Under 7.5 or Higher
How to Watch Kansas City Royals vs Cleveland Indians
|Kansas City Royals vs Cleveland|
|What||Kansas City vs Cleveland|
|Where||Progressive Field, Cleveland, Ind.|
|When||Wednesday, April 7, 1:10 p.m. EST|
|How to Watch||Bally Sports Great Lakes, MLB.TV|
Cleveland Has the Right Man on the Mound
It hasn’t exactly been the start to the 2021 season that the Indians had in mind. Cleveland started off by dropping two of three to a rebuilding Detroit team to open the year before losing the opener of a two-game series with the Royals.
However, all of that can quickly be turned around when Cleveland has its ace on the mound like it will Wednesday afternoon in Shane Bieber. Bieber gave up three earned runs in six innings in the season-opener, numbers that are entirely deceiving in how good he was.
The defending Cy Young Award winner struck out 12 batters and didn’t give up a run over the final four innings. His stuff is simply superb and this time he won’t have to pitch in a 31-degree snowstorm. Teams love to turn to their ace when they need to stop a losing skid and there isn’t a better one to turn to in the game today.
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Royals Scrapping Their Way to Victory
Don’t look now but Kansas City have quietly had one of the best starts to the season of any team in baseball not named the Dodgers. What might be the most promising sign of all is the Royals have gotten it done in all types of ways early on.
In the season-opening series against the Rangers, it was all about the bats. They scored 25 runs over the first two games and have been propelled by Whit Merrifield who should win the American League Player of the Week this week in a landslide.
Merrifield is a blazing hot 8-for-16 to open the season and ranks in the top 10 in every major offensive category including a tie for first in home runs (3) second in RBIs (9), sixth in OPS (1.625), and ninth in batting average (.500).
But they’ve also gotten some solid pitching, shutting out Cleveland on Monday.
X Factor to Watch on Both Sides
To say Shane Bieber is an x-factor would not be doing justice to what the term means. The same would go for saying it about Whit Merrifield. Of course, those players are two of the most important, but an x-factor is someone who isn’t the ace of the team like Jakob Junis or the anchor of the lineup like Jose Ramirez.
In this game, for the Indians, it’s Eddie Rosario. A quick glance at the numbers — 3-of-12 to open the season — and you might think he’s off to a slow start. But really, he’s doing quite well, he also has three walks and leads the team in RBIs (4) and OBP (.375) while being tied with one home run.
On the other side, it’s newly acquired Andrew Benintendi for the Royals to keep their eye on. It’s obviously early, so there’s no reason to panic, but he’s struggled out of the gate. The former Red Sox star is just 3-of-18, all of which were singles to go along with just one walk compared to five strikeouts.
He’s a much better hitter than that and he’s a five-tool player, so he can impact the game with his arm, his glove, and his legs too — he just needs to find a way on base.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.