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Indians Look To Stay Alive, Host Royals

Will Carlos Santana and the Indians have their postseason hopes extinguished on Wednesday?

Will Carlos Santana and the Indians have their postseason hopes extinguished on Wednesday?

The Cleveland Indians will look to avoid a sweep and keep their slim postseason hopes alive on Wednesday as they host the Kansas City Royals.

First pitch at Progressive Field is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. ET.

20140923_AL_CentralHaving dropped a pair of games to begin the series, Cleveland (82-76, 42-39 home) is now on the brink of postseason elimination.

With their elimination number at just one, it would take a baseball miracle for Terry Francona’s club to advance to October, but whilst that miracle is still alive, the team will continue to fight.

Kansas City (86-71, 44-32 road) is one of the teams the Indians are looking to hurdle to climb into the postseason.

Following a back and forth battle with the Detroit Tigers at the top of the AL Central, the Royals are on the verge of a first postseason appearance since winning the 1985 World Series. They’re also still in with a shot at the division crown.

Heading into play on Wednesday, the Tigers own a one-game advantage over the Royals. That’s an advantage that could slip away quickly.

In the event that Kansas City and Detroit finish level, the two sides would meet in a one-game tiebreaker next Monday to decide the division champion. The game would be played at Comerica Park in Detroit, by way of the Tigers’ 13-6 advantage in the season head-to-head.

Next Monday is a long way off though, and Ned Yost will look to guide his team to the division title without the need of a tiebreaker. That starts tonight.

Following a 2-0 victory to open the series, the Royals handed the Indians a 7-1 defeat on Tuesday, getting a strong outing from pitcher Yordano Ventura, who allowed four hits and no runs through seven innings. Omar Infante, Billy Butler, Salvador Perez and Alex Gordon all recorded run-scoring doubles in the game.

Pitching matchup

Kansas City will send Jason Vargas (11-10, 3.59 ERA) to the mound to start Wednesday’s game.

The 31-year-old left-hander has recorded a loss in three straight and five of his last six starts. During that time he has posted 5.51 ERA, yielding 21 runs on 46 hits through 32 2/3 innings.

He’ll be hoping that he keeps the run total down on Wednesday, as has generally been the case in his three career starts at Progressive Field.

  • Vargas is 3-3 with a 4.88 ERA in 8 career games (8 starts) vs. Cleveland
  • Vargas is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 3 career games (3 starts) at Progressive Field
  • Vargas is 1-1 with a 4.12 ERA in 3 games (3 starts) vs. Cleveland this season
  • Vargas is 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA in 1 game (1 start) at Progressive Field this season

Cleveland will counter with Trevor Bauer (5-8, 4.06 ERA).

The 23-year-old right-hander hasn’t figured in the decision in seven of his last 10 starts, a period in which he’s gone 1-2 with a 3.77 ERA. The Indians are 5-5 in those games.

  • Bauer is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 2 career games (2 starts) vs. Kansas City
  • Bauer is 5-4 with a 3.21 ERA in 15 career games (15 starts) at Progressive Field
  • Bauer is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 2 games (2 starts) vs. Cleveland this season
  • Bauer is 4-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 13 games (13 starts) at Progressive Field this season
Jason Vargas and the Royals will look to close the gap on the Tigers.

Jason Vargas and the Royals will look to close the gap on the Tigers.

Injury report

Cleveland is without first baseman Nick Swisher (knee) and outfielder Ryan Raburn (knee), both of whom are finished for the year.

Kansas City second baseman Christian Colon remains on the 15-day DL with a finger injury.

Betting report

Below you’ll find significant trends and observations relating to this matchup.

Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians odds for 09/24/2014

Cleveland (-108) opened as the narrowest of favorites over Kansas City (-102) on the moneyline, but this one really is a pick’em.

At the time of writing, Bovada had both clubs at -110 while Bookmaker had the Royals (-115) favored over the Indians (-105).

Heading into 2014’s final meeting between the sides, both clubs have won nine and lost nine in the head-to-head series. The Indians own a narrow 5-4 advantage in games played at Progressive Field.

Some other trends to consider:

  • Kansas City is 60-46 in night games
  • Cleveland is 53-50 in night games
  • Kansas City is 36-35  vs. AL Central opponents
  • Cleveland is 38-37 vs. AL Central opponents
  • Kansas City is 63-51 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Cleveland is 24-25 vs. left-handed pitching
  • Kansas City is 38-25 since the All-Star break
  • Cleveland is 35-29 since the All-Star break
  • Kansas City is 12-9 since September 1
  • Cleveland is 11-12 since September 1

The total opened at 7.5 but dropped to 7 shortly after lines were released.

The total went over in Tuesday night’s game, snapping a four-game streak in which the under had paid out.

The under has paid out in 16 of Cleveland’s last 21 home games.


Following Wednesday’s series finale, Cleveland will host the Tampa Bay Rays for a weekend series (Fri-Sun). Even if the Indians survive on Wednesday, they could be eliminated before Friday rolls around thanks to the Royals having a game in hand.

Kansas City will visit the Chicago White Sox for a four-game set this weekend (Thu-Sun). With the Tigers hosting the Minnesota Twins, the race for the AL Central title really could go down to the wire.


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.


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