Cleveland (Gomez) at Kansas City (Chen) -120 O/U 9
We’re on a solid MLB run over the past week and tonight we’ll attack a total as AL Central leading Cleveland (12-4) plays Game 2 of a four-game set at Kansas City (10-6). The Indians scored four runs in the 10th inning last night to beat the Royals 7-3. Both teams used four relievers and tonight’s starters are not likely to last deep into the contest. After a grueling micro fracture knee surgery, center fielder Grady Sizemore is back in the lineup and making noise going 5-for 9 with a HR and two doubles in two games. The Indians are 5-1 against left-handers and face a marginal one tonight in Bruce Chen. His last start looks solid on paper with eight shutout innings against the Mariners, but his strong start is not going to last based on a sub-par groundball/fly ball ratio and rising xERA. His consistent marginal numbers the past two seasons point to a regression. The Indians are no. 2 in the AL in batting .269, including an over .320 mark with runners in scoring position. They should have enough base runners tonight to score some runs.
Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez makes his 2011 debut after going 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA, 1.65 WHIP and .307 BAA last season. He allowed 73 hits, 22 BB and 7 HRs in just 57 IP. He’s likely to get roughed up by the Royals lineup, which leads the AL in hitting at .270 average. After a disappointing loss last night that kept them from moving into a tie for first place with the Indians, look for the Royals’ bats to come out swinging and score early against Gomez. First five innings over 4.5 worth a play and we’ll make a Fairway Forecast on over the total of 9 tonight.