The Kansas City Royals are trying to crawl out of the basement of the majors. The Royals, World Series Champions in 2015, are finding it tough going in 2018. K.C. enter with a record of 12-24. They’ve at least added a few winners to the W column lately, though. The Royals have gone 4-2 in their last six games, which accounts for one of their best stretches of the season.
The bullpen was getting absolutely abused earlier this year, and while they still aren’t good, they’ve been doing better at least. I wouldn’t expect some kind of comeback from the Royals, there will be some pain, but it was all worth it to win a World Series. It isn’t like they spent a fortune to win that championship, but some players who helped them win it, wanted their fortune when their contracts expired.
The entire AL Central hasn’t been flying too high to start the year. The top team are the Indians who are just a .500 baseball team at .500. Detroit did not expect to be within a few games of the best team in the division, but they are hanging around, three games behind the Indians. I expect them to fade out of the picture, but for a team that’s in rebuilding mode, they’ve been putting forth a decent effort.
Gardenhire looks like he was the right hire for the Tigers. The Tribe may be the best team in the division, but they are an afterthought when there’s the Yankees, Red Sox, and Astros in the same conference. Trevor Bauer will get the nod for the Indians tonight, while Jason Hammel will attempt to steer the ship in the right direction after a few rough outings. Get our free Royals vs. Indians pick below.
K.C. Royals vs. Cleveland Indians Pick
Jason Hammel (0-4, 4.78 ERA) vs. Trevor Bauer (2-3, 2.53 ERA)
Despite the Indians losing four of their last five games are still 1st in the division. What does that say about the state of the American League Central? They’ve also had some standout games of late, notably a 12-4 win over the Rangers and 13-4 against the Blue Jays. Hammel needs a good start on Friday, as he hasn’t been performing at a quality level in 2018. There is zero surprised that he hasn’t recorded a win yet. Hammel owns an ERA of 4.78 overall, with his worst work coming recently. He posted a 7.00 ERA in his last three starts. That includes a 1.61 WHIP and .349 OBA. The worst came against the Red Sox, where he got smacked for 8 runs in 4.2 innings.
Trevor Bauer has done a fine job against the competition he faces today. The Royals’ batters have hit .213 against Bauer in their careers. In 136 at-bats, they’ve managed to generate just 29 hits on Bauer. He has been going under the radar with an excellent start to 2018. The Indians have Kluber, but Bauer has actually been producing better numbers. Note that Bauer holds a 2.53 ERA and 2.33 ERA with a WHIP of 0.98 in his last three outings. He hasn’t allowed more than 3 runs in a start yet this year. And the 3 runs allowed happened only once. I look to the Indians to provide us with a winning pick on the run line Friday.