If the Cleveland Guardians want to get themselves back into the mix in the AL Central then they need to beat up on the team in the basement of their terrible division. They were unable to do that yesterday when the Kansas City Royals beat them 5-3 in Cleveland to drop the Guardians to 49-51. The Royals are now 29-73 and are going for win No. 30 with Zack Greinke on the mound.
Greinke is 1-10 with a 5.40 ERA in 19 starts for the Royals this year and will have a tough test matching up against Aaron Civale. Civale is 3-2 with a 2.71 ERA in 11 starts. Understandably the Guardians are favorites, but there still could be some value on that side, so let me tell you why.
Royals vs. Guardians odds, run line and total
Royals vs. Guardians prediction and pick
Zack Greinke is miles from the pitcher he once was, we all know that, but when he is in Kansas City, something about Kauffman Stadium is the fountain of youth. At home Greinke has a 3.74 ERA and allows a .755 OPS. On the road, everything seems to fall apart. Greinke is 0-6 with a 7.42 ERA in road games and allows opposing hitters an .830 OPS with 12 home runs in his nine road starts.
I’m fading Greinke big time in Cleveland today, as anyone should. Greinke’s numbers are bad for the season, but there’s a clear distinction between home Greinke and road Greinke that isn’t baked into the line for Royals games with him on the mound. I think there is a ton of value betting the Guardians on the run line in this matchup.
Aaron Civale has been very good for Cleveland, but I don’t think his great performances will continue for long. He only has 49 strikeouts to 18 walks in 63.0 innings of work. That’s okay, but not the combination of strikeout stuff and control needed to maintain and ERA under 3.00 in the MLB. Though today, that’s totally fine against Kansas City. The Royals have a .680 team OPS this month and have drawn the fewest walks in July.
Pick: Guardians -1.5 (+105)
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