Cleveland Indians at Kansas City Royals – MLB May 4

8:10 p.m. ET – Indians at Royals (-140 ML) O/U: 8.5

The 14-13 Indians stay in Kansas City to take on the 16-11 Royals on Tuesday night for the second contest in a four-game series. Game One went to the Tribe thanks to a three-run home run from Eddie Rosario in the top of the seventh that gave them a lead they never relinquished on their way to an 8-6 victory.

Kansas City has lost three of its last four games, all to divisional opponents, which makes Tuesday night an important game to win in order for the Royals to maintain their place at the top of the American League Central.

About the Indians

Cleveland Indians LogoThe Indians of the 2021 season have looked a whole lot different than the Indians of 2020. They lost franchise staples in star shortstop Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana and Carlos Carrasco. They have the lowest payroll in all of Major League Baseball. Yet, they sit one game over .500 through 27 games this season.

The batting order has been pretty average, producing 4.1 runs per game to rank 17th in the majors. A shining bright spot for Cleveland has been right fielder Franmil Reyes, who is batting .300 with seven home runs and 20 RBI. Reyes always has had the power, but is showing more discipline at the plate early on this year and has developed into a massive problem for American League pitching. Third baseman Jose Ramirez has stepped in as the franchise’s superstar this season following Lindor’s departure and he has filled the role well. Ramirez is batting .281 with eight home runs and 17 RBI, including batting .391 over his last seven games.

The pitching staff has been the anchor of the Indians for the past decade and this year has been no different. Opposing batters are hitting .211 against Cleveland pitching, which ranks as the fourth lowest batting average against in MLB.

About the Royals

KC RoyalsThe Royals had the best record in the entire American League before stumbling in three of their last four games to allow the Athletics to claim that distinction. Despite that, Kansas City still remains the biggest surprise in Major League Baseball up to this point. The Royals are five games above .500, yet sit at a run differential of negative-5.

For comparison, the second-place White Sox have a run differential of plus-28. This is because Kansas City has won half of its games this season by one or two runs. The offense has been solid over the course of the first month, averaging 4.7 runs per game, good enough to be tied for a respectable 10th in the big leagues. The Royals rank 22nd in home runs, but make up for that with 22 stolen bases, which ranks third in baseball. First baseman and former Indian, Carlos Santana has been on fire over the past week, batting .407 with two home runs and five RBI in his last seven games. Left fielder Andrew Benintendi also has caught fire as of late, batting .440 with two home runs and four RBI in his last seven games after a slow start to his 2021 campaign.

Kansas City has a pitching staff mixed with half-and-half between young prospects and veterans designed to eat innings. The results haves been very average in the early going. The Royals have a 4.48 team ERA, which ranks 22nd in the majors, but have had bright spots from various starting pitchers already this year that have helped carry them to the plethora of victories in tight ballgames.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Cleveland Indians +1½ (-165) +120 O 8½ (-120)
Kansas City Royals -1½ (+140) -140 U 8½ (+100)

The Pitching Matchup

Cleveland is turning to left-hander Sam Hentges to slow down the Kansas City offense on Tuesday night. Hentges has appeared in three games this season out of the bullpen with a 4.77 ERA over 5.2 innings of work. He allowed two home runs in three innings of work in his last outing against the Twins.

Veteran left-hander Mike Minor will be toeing the rubber for the Royals with the hopes of pulling Kansas City even in the series. Minor has started five games this year with a 5.26 ERA in 25.2 innings pitched. Minor was ineffective in against the Pirates in his last start, getting run off in the fifth inning after allowing five runs on six hits.

What’s the Bet?
The best bet in this game is to target the Over/Under total. The Royals’ last five games have all combined for at least 10 runs, each time pushing the game over its O/U projection. The Indians had issues scoring runs early in the season, but have scored five runs or more in three of their last four games. The starting pitching matchup features two left-handed pitchers that give up their fair share of home run balls.

Cleveland is turning to a reliever in Hentges who very well might not make it out of the third inning. Both bullpens are depleted after not getting a rest day on Monday and instead seeing tons of action in a game that combined for 14 runs. The pitchers are worse on Tuesday night than we saw on Monday, and the hitters have too much confidence for this game not to hit double-digit runs.

Back the over of 8.5 runs and watch another slugfest commence at Kauffman Stadium.
The Bet
Over 8.5 Runs

*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook

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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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