First pitch: 7:10 p.m.
Probable pitchers: Danny Duffy (0-0, -.-- ERA) vs. Shane Bieber (0-0, -.-- ERA)
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Latest Odds
Cleveland Indians -210 Best Odds: FanDuel - Bet Now
Kansas City Royals +205 Best Odds: SugarHouse - Bet Now
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Predictions
OK, either one or both of the starting pitchers in this season-opening affair between the Royals and Indians is being severely underrated in regards to the over/under. Oh well, let’s seek to capitalize on a potential blooper from the linesmakers.
First off, there’s Bieber, who just had the campaign of his life last year in actually placing fourth in the American League Cy Young voting. Not bad for a guy who only debuted two seasons ago.
The honor was well-deserved, as Bieber registered the second-most quality starts in baseball (24) — a strong indicator of consistency — as well as the third-most strikeouts (259).
Bieber’s ascension is real and he appears to have picked up where he left off based on his strong performance in spring training before the coronavirus pandemic (not even being scored off of) and summer camp. In fact, in his most recent tuneup, the right-hander struck out nine compared to no walks and yielded only one run on four hits. He even said he feels “really, really good,” so I’ll take him at his word. Bieber in his rhythm is tough to hit.
The question then becomes: can we trust Duffy to not let this get away? I say yes for a variety of reasons. The 10th-year veteran is still a solid pitcher when healthy, which is the case right now, and he’s coming off a fine 2019 showcase in his own right, posting a respectable 4.34 ERA a year ago. That’s while having his season interrupted by injury (again) and without his battery mate that he’s grown so accustomed to throughout the years, Salvador Perez. Well, Salvy is back now.
Duffy also held opponents to a .251 batting average, which is notable because it’s the lowest such mark allowed by the southpaw in three years, dating back to 2016 when he was a career-best 12-3.
This is still a quality pitcher and I like where Duffy is at mentally, talking about how he “needed this.” He added, “It means a lot to me. I’ve put in a lot of work.” In other words, this third opening day assignment in his career won’t at all be taken for granted by a “pumped up” Duffy. Being so focused and motivated should only serve to have him on his game, even against an intimidating lineup.
Bettors should act on this quickly, with the total already dropping in some places. Be sure to scour around for a line of 9 before it’s too late.
Kansas City Royals at Cleveland Indians Best Bet:
MLB Picks & Leans - Other Games July 24 Slate
Los Angeles Angels @ Oakland Atheltic - PICK - UNDER 8.5
Milwaukee Brewers @ Chicago Cubs - PICK - OVER.8.5