Indians vs Royals – 7/25/19 MLB Pick, Odds, and Predictions
San Diego Padres vs New York Mets, Wednesday July 24, 2019 (7:10pm et) Current Odds: Brewers -154 Total Runs 8.5
The red-hot Cleveland Indians look to continue their road success Thursday when they begin a four-game series against the similarly surging Kansas City Royals.
The Indians, who have won nine of their past 11, are 27-21 on the road and have won eight of their last nine games away from home.
Cleveland is coming off a 4-0 win Wednesday at Toronto — a one-hitter from Shane Bieber — that gave the Indians two victories in the three-game set against the Blue Jays. Cleveland has a 3.78 road ERA, the second-best mark in the major leagues behind Tampa Bay’s 3.32.
Kansas City has won nine of 12 games since the All-Star Game and just swept a two-game series on the road against the National League East-leading Atlanta Braves.
Cleveland will send right-hander Adam Plutko (3-2, 4.81 ERA) against Kansas City southpaw Mike Montgomery (1-3, 6.83) in the opening game at Kauffman Stadium.
Plutko will be making his 10th appearance and ninth start of the season. He is coming off a strong start against the Royals on Saturday, when he took the loss despite allowing only one run on two hits over seven innings. He struck out four and walked one as the Indians fell 1-0.
“I guess it’s no secret when you have good outings, generally you’re pretty locked in and you obviously have really good defense behind you,” Plutko said.
He will be making his fifth career appearance, fourth start, against Kansas City and is still looking for his first win against the Royals. He is 0-2 with a 3.57 ERA and has 16 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings against Kansas City. He is 0-1 with a 1.64 ERA in two starts against the Royals this season.
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Montgomery will be making his second start for the Royals since being acquired in a July 15 trade from the Chicago Cubs for catcher Martin Maldonado. The left-hander was on a limited pitch count and threw just 45 pitches in two-plus innings Friday at Cleveland. He gave up five runs on six hits and a walk with one strikeout in a 10-5 defeat.
“I think he did all right,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. “He looked a little rusty. He made some really good pitches and then he made a couple of pitches that caught too much of the plate.”
Montgomery had not pitched since July 2, getting 17 days off between games. He made 20 relief appearances for the Cubs this year but is now being stretched out to become a starter. The lack of work took its toll in his first appearance with the Royals.
“I felt good early on,” Montgomery said. “I think there was a lot of good to take away from those first two innings. I felt sharp. I felt strong. Third inning, they took advantage of some two-strike mistakes. I maybe fatigued a little bit. I could feel my legs not being the same, and that’s because you haven’t pitched in a while. You really have to make some adjustments when your legs aren’t under you.”
Montgomery is 0-1 with a 9.53 ERA in six regular season games, one start, against Cleveland in his career. More notably, he allowed just one run in 4 2/3 innings during five appearances against the Indians in the 2016 World Series, and he earned the save for the Cubs in Game 7.
He likely will have to contend with Cleveland’s Greg Allen, who came up with three hits on Wednesday and is 5-for-9 with two runs and an RBI on the road trip.
“He’s helped us win some games,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He’s always ready, and he’s swung the bat more like we thought he could.”
411Winners Pick and Prediction: Game Prop – Cleveland Over Team Total