Cleveland Indians (9-7) at Kansas City Royals(11-8)
March 13th, 2019 4:05PM ET (Surprise Stadium, AZ)
ESPN MLB Picks Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians face off with the Kansas City Royals this afternoon. Two AL Central teams that have won the last four division crowns. The Indians have won the last three and the Royals won the division in 2015, where they eventually went on to win the world series. The Indians are playing two different teams today in one of those weird spring training scenarios. They are playing the Royals and Brewers at 4:05, how is that possible?!
Kansas City Royals
It happens every single season. The Royals just happened to be the unlucky team this year. Every year, a player goes down with a huge injury during spring training, this season, it just happened to be Salvador Perez. He successfully underwent Tommy John surgery the other day, and the Royals will be without their best player. The Royals are going to have a rough season. They are in a rebuild mode after losing almost every single player from their World Series-winning roster.
Kansas City made some bargain signings this offseason with Chris Owings, Billy Hamilton, Homer Bailey, and Kyle Zimmer. Getting Zimmer and Bailey will help the rotation, as Hamilton and Owings will provide some decent at-bats throughout the year. They resigned Whit Merrifield to a nice contract. He is going to be one of the bright spots for this squad. Outside of him, I’m only excited to see a full season of Adalberto Mondesi, who should be a flashy shortstop in Kansas City for the next few years. Expect to see the Royals in the cellar of the already awful AL Central.
The Indians are the best team in the AL Central by a landslide, even though they lost a ton of talent over the offseason. This list includes Michael Brantley, Josh Donaldson, Josh Tomlin, Andrew Miller, and Yan Gomes. They gained Carlos Santana, which is a fine move, just not a ton to push the needle. The Indians front office must be banking on the idea that their current talent is good enough to win the division for a fourth straight season.
They bolster the best shortstop in the league in Francisco Lindor. I have been ranting and raving about this guy from the first day that I saw him. Shortstop is a deep position, but if you don’t think this guy is the best, you are watching a different game. Lindor was the top-ranked shortstop in fantasy last season. He hit .277, which can get better, with 92 RBI, 129 runs scored, while hitting 38 home runs. On top of all this, he recorded 25 steals. He is a great fielder as well, posting 2.5 defensive wins above replacement. Somehow he finished sixth in MVP voting, behind his running mate, Jose Ramirez. I think Lindor takes another step forward and finishes top-3 in the MVP race.
The Indians are 3-1-1 in their last five games
The total has gone under in four of their last five games
Lost to Kansas City 13-7 on March 3rd
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are 2-3 in their last five games
The total has gone over in three of their last five games
The Royals are 7-2 at home during Spring Training this year
FREE MLB Schedule Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
The Indians are playing in two seperate games today, which means the talent is going to be spread out across the two stadiums. Right now, there is no spread for either of the games. The fact that the Indians won’t be fielding a full roster in this game, I’m picking the Royals
Pick: Kansas City Royals