The Cleveland Guardians (43-44) host the Kansas City Royals (25-63) at Progressive Field on Friday. The Guardians took Thursday’s series opener 6-1, their third head-to-head victory in four games this season.
Reliever Eli Morgan was credited with the win after throwing one scoreless inning. Andres Gimenez went 2 for 3 with a home run and three runs in the win. Jose Ramirez added a solo home run. Nick Pratto was 1 for 3 with one RBI for the Royals.
ON THE MOUND
Daniel Lynch (2-3, 4.14 ERA) is in line to start for Kansas City. The left-hander allowed three runs over five innings in his last start, a 6-4 road win over the Dodgers on Saturday. He got the win, giving up five hits while striking out four and walking three.
Lynch is making his first appearance against the Guardians this season. Over two starts against the Guardians in 2022, Lynch was 0-2 with an 11.42 ERA over 8.2 innings.
He had four strikeouts and five walks. RHP Aaron Civale (2-2, 2.96 ERA) will take the mound for Cleveland. It’s his first appearance of the season against the Royals.
Civale made four appearances against the Royals in 2022, all as the starter, striking out 23 and walking four over 22.1 innings (2-0, 2.82).In his last start on Sunday, Civale took a no-decision on the road against the Cubs. He threw six innings and gave up one run on three hits, striking out two and walking one in the 8-6 victory.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Kansas City has averaged 3.4 runs a game, a small drop compared to their season average of 3.7. Against right-handed pitchers like Civale this season, the Royals have a .651 OPS, second lowest in MLB.
Salvador Perez is the team’s best performer against right-handers with a .796 OPS in 223 at-bats. Cleveland is averaging 4.6 runs per game in the last five, up slightly from 4.0 for the season.
The Guardians have a .679 OPS against Southpaws in 2023, the fifth lowest in the league. With a .867 OPS over 80 at-bats, Amed Rosario has been their best hitter against left-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Kansas City is on a five-game losing streak in road games, bringing their record to 12-32 in 2023. The Royals have scored 3.3 runs per game away from home while allowing 5.2 runs.
Cleveland has gone 22-21 in front of their home fans this season, averaging 3.6 runs per game while surrendering 4.0. Cleveland is 8-2 in the last 10 games at Progressive Field between the AL Central rivals with an average scoreline of 5.5-3.2.
The Royals are fifth in the AL Central, 20 games behind the division-leading Twins. The Guardians are second in the AL Central, one game behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Cleveland Guardians (-190)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.