The Cleveland Guardians (44-44) host the Kansas City Royals (25-64) at Progressive Field on Saturday. The Guardians lead the series 2-0 after winning 3-0 on Friday, their fourth head-to-head victory in five games this season.
Starter Aaron Civale threw seven scoreless innings – striking out nine – for the win, and Emmanuel Clase picked up his 25th save with a scoreless ninth. Josh Bell went 1 for 3 with a home run and two RBIs in the win. MJ Melendez was 1 for 3 with a double for the Royals.
ON THE MOUND
Brady Singer (5-7, 5.52 ERA) is in line to get the start for Kansas City. The RHP allowed one run over seven innings in his last start, a 9-1 home win over the Dodgers on Sunday. He was credited with the win, scattering four hits while striking out four and walking three.
Singer has made one previous start against the Guardians this season, a 2-1 home loss on June 27. He allowed four hits over six scoreless innings, striking out three and walking two. RHP Gavin Williams (0-1, 3.79 ERA) will take the mound for Cleveland.
He has made one prior start against the Royals this season, holding opposing hitters scoreless over seven innings in a 2-1 road win on June 27. He gave up one hit and walked one while striking out six in the no-decision.
In his last start on Monday, Williams took the loss at home against the Braves. He threw 6.1 innings and gave up four runs on seven hits, striking out two and walking two in the 4-2 defeat.
AT THE PLATE
Over the last five games, Kansas City has averaged only 1.6 runs a game, down from their season average of 3.7, while slashing worse across the board (.166/.216/.268).
Against right-handed pitchers like Williams this season, the Royals have a .646 OPS, second lowest in MLB. Salvador Perez is the team’s strongest performer against right-handers with a .785 OPS in 226 at-bats.
Cleveland is averaging only 3.6 runs per game in the last five, down slightly from 4.0 for the season. The Guardians have a .688 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .949 OPS over 224 at-bats, Jose Ramirez has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Kansas City is on a six-game losing streak in road games, bringing their record to 12-33 in 2023. The Royals have scored 3.2 runs per game away from home while allowing 5.2 runs.
Cleveland has gone 23-21 in front of their home fans this season, averaging 3.5 runs per game while surrendering 3.9. Cleveland is 8-2 in the last 10 games between the AL Central rivals at Progressive Field with an average scoreline of 5.1-2.9.
The Royals are fifth in the AL Central, 20 games behind the division-leading Twins. The Guardians are second in the AL Central, zero games behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Cleveland Guardians (-175)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.