Kansas City (77-73) at Cleveland (86-63)
When: Tuesday, September 20th 2016
Where: Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Time: 7:10 ET | TV: FSN Kansas City, STO
The defending World Series Champions might come up a little short in their bid for another title, but they can still do some damage of the last two weeks of the regular season. The Kansas City Royals begin the night five games back of the second Wild Card spot and would have to jump five teams to get it. The Royals will play the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers in nine of their final 12 games. The Indians on the other hand are about to wrap up the AL Central title this week, but have major concerns in their rotation. Danny Salazar went down with a forearm strain and Carlos Carrasco was lost to a broken finger, but the team still owns a seven-game lead in the Central and has a magic number of seven to clinch. The Indians will push up Josh Tomlin and lean on rookie Mike Clevinger in the rotation with Carrasco and Salazar out. The Tribe plan on going with a three-man rotation in the playoffs with Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, and either Tomlin or Clevinger or piggyback both.
Pitchers: Royals – Edinson Volquez (10-11, 5.40 ERA) | Indians – Josh Tomlin (12-8, 4.75)
Edinson Volquez is winless in his last four starts and has looked really bad. In his last start against Oakland on Thursday he allowed seven hits, nine runs (8 earned), and walked four in 3.1 innings. Volquez has allowed at least four earned runs in eight of his last 10 outings, including four straight. He fared well the last two times he saw Cleveland, yielding a total of two runs and six hits in 14 innings.
Tomlin was dropped from the rotation in late August after five losses in six starts but returned at Chicago on Wednesday. He held the White Sox to one run over five innings to earn the win. Tomlin had a stretch in August where he allowed 10 home runs, but kept the ball in the park on Wednesday. Tomlin is 2-0 with a 2.79 ERA in three starts against Kansas City this season.
I don’t trust either of these pitchers right now and the Royals are hitting well. They have scored 18 runs over the last two games and Cleveland has 17 in their last three. I think the Indians win this game, but I’m more comfortable taking the over.
Pick: Over 9 -115