Rogers' Afternoon ASSAULT >> RIDICULOUS 72-38-3 Last 28 Days!
Cleveland vs. Kansas City,
06/03/2017 14:15 EDT,
Score: 5 - 12
Money Line: -182 Cleveland
The set-up: The Royals took the opener of this three-game series with the visiting Indians 4-0 on Friday. Whit Merrifield doubled in the first run as the Royals to extend his hitting streak to 17 games (he was 2-for-3 with a HR for the game), in which he's gone has gone 23-for-58 (.397). The teams square off in the middle game of the series this afternoon. KC is just 23-30 and in last place in the AL Central while Indians registered only seven hits last night plus went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, after scoring 33 runs during a 4-1 stretch that had vaulted them into a virtual first-place tie in the division with the Twins. Minnesota won last night and now leads by one game.
The pitching matchup: Carlos Carrasco (5-2 & 2.89 ERA) takes the hill for Cleveland and Jason Hammel (1-6 & 6.18 ERA) for Kansas City. Carrasco comes in unbeaten in his last five starts (he's 3-0 and the team 5-0), including a 5-3 win on Monday in which he held Oakland to two runs and four hits over seven innings while striking out seven. Carrasco has pitched well most of the season with seven quality starts in 10 outings and 65 Ks over 65 1/3 innings (0.92 WHIP) while limiting opponents to a .194 batting average. Carrasco is 7-5 with a 3.40 ERA in 19 career games (14 starts / teams are 9-5) against the Royals. Hammel defeated Cleveland 3-1 back on May 5, when he allowed one run and struck out six in six innings. However, his season has been a major disappointment so far and since that early May win, he's gone 0-3 while giving up 19 runs (18 earned) over 23 1/3 innings (6.94 ERA) in four starts (KC is 0-4). He left the Cubs to sign a free agent deal with KC and is now pitching for his sixth team. He has allowed three or more runs in eight of his starts (Royals are 1-9!) while opponents are batting .306 against him. Hammel has made six career starts against the Indians, going 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA (teams are 1-5).
The pick: To say Hammel has been a major flop would be an understatement, as on top of the Royals going just 1-9 in his starts, his moneyline mark of minus-$801 leaves him 227th among 228 starting pitchers in 2017. Meanwhile, Carrasco comes in with the Indians having won his last five starts and while we haven't heard as much this year about the Cleveland bullpen, it ranks No. 1 in MLB with a 2.17 ERA and Cleveland is 22-1 when leading after six innings. That's a sign the bullpen is doing its job! Make Cleveland an 8* play.