It’s quite likely that Friday will be the last season opener in a Cleveland Indians uniform for Francisco Lindor as the Tribe are likely to trade the star shortstop either this season or next winter because they can’t afford to re-sign him in free agency. Cleveland welcomes Kansas City in the opener.
How to Bet Royals at Indians MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 7:10 PM ET
- Where: Progressive Field
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Danny Duffy/Shane Bieber
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: http://mlb.mlb.com/media/player/mpa/?c_id=mlb
- Opening MLB Lines: Indians -217, <a
href=”https://www.mybookie.ag/sportsbook/mlb/#accordionBets5″>Royals +197 (total 8)
The Royals have a new skipper in former Cardinals manager Mike Matheny. He was brought into the organization last November as special adviser for player development. In his transition back to the dugout, Matheny will be charged with leading the Royals through a rebuild that saw them go 59-103 in 2019. Matheny, 49, previously managed Cardinals from 2012-2018 and in 6-plus seasons at the helm, he never finished with a losing record and was 591-474 overall.
Matheny replaces Ned Yost, who retired. Yost finished his managerial career with 1,203 wins, including a franchise-record 746 with the Royals. He led the Royals to back-to-back World Series appearances in 2014-15 and won the second World Series championship in franchise history in 2015, defeating the Mets 4-1. Yost finished his career with 2,544 games managed, three more than Hall of Fame manager Earl Weaver for 32nd all-time.
Kansas City’s Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler played all 162 games last season, joining Baltimore’s Jonathan Villar and Oakland’s Marcus Semien as the only American League players to play all 162. The Royals weren’t very good but they could play defense.
Kansas City recorded just 73 errors, second fewest in the American League behind Houston (71). It marked the third straight season that the Royals have set their club’s single-season record for fewest errors in a 162-game season, after committing just 79 errors in 2017, before breaking that record with 77 in 2018. The Royals are the first team ever to record 80 errors or fewer in three straight 162-game seasons.
It’s lefty Danny Duffy on the mound. It’ll be his third Opening Day start for Kansas City. Duffy is coming off a season in which he went 7-6 with a 4.34 ERA in 23 starts. He opened the 2019 season on the Injured List (left shoulder impingement) and did not make his season debut until April 26. Duffy went 3-1 with a 3.12 ERA (12 ER in 34.2 IP) in his first six starts, which included three consecutive wins: May 7 at Houston, May 14 vs. Texas and May 19 at the Angels. However, Duffy went winless over a nine-start stretch (May 26-July 12), despite recording five quality starts in that span.
The Royals welcome back former All-Star catcher Salvador Perez this year. He missed all of 2019 following Tommy John surgery. He did recently test positive for COVID-19 but was asymptomatic and good to go.Why Bet on Cleveland?
In his seventh season as Cleveland’s manager last year, Terry Francona led the Indians to a 93-69 record in 2019, falling 3.0 games short of an AL Wild Card berth. Francona ranks second among active managers in wins (1,667), trailing only Houston’s Dusty Baker (1,863). He leads all active managers in wins since 2015 (461) and he is 90 wins away from tying Lou Boudreau for most wins in franchise history. Francona has recorded five 90-win seasons in his first seven seasons as the Indians’ skipper.
This winter, the Indians traded former ace and two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber to Texas for prospects, including fire-baller Emmanuel Clase. However, he has been suspended for this entire season for using performance-enhancing drugs. MLB handed Clase the ban on May 1 after he tested positive for boldenone, an anabolic steroid. The 22-year-old made his big-league debut in 2019 and posted a 2.31 ERA with 21 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings for Texas.
Francona has suggested that superstar shortstop Francisco Lindor might bat third this season. “That’s my sneaking suspicion,” said the Cleveland skipper. Lindor has mostly hit leadoff for the Tribe over the last few years, and he’s had great success in that role, but his power may be better showcased a little lower down the lineup.
It’s young right-hander Shane Bieber on the mound. He enjoyed a great 2019, making 33 starts and going 15-8 with a 3.28 ERA (78 ER/214.1 IP). He led the club in nearly every category in 2019 and collected the third most strikeouts (259) in MLB. Bieber led MLB in complete games (3) and shutouts (2) in 2019 and finished fourth in AL Cy Young Award voting. Bieber tossed a perfect fifth inning in the Midsummer Classic, striking out all three batters he faced to earn MVP honors in the 4-3 American League win at Progressive Field.
At 25 years and 54 days old, Shane Bieber will be the Tribe’s youngest Opening Day starter since 23-year-old CC Sabathia in ‘04.
- Royals are 9-27 in the last 36 meetings in Cleveland.
- Royals are 21-44 in the last 65 meetings.
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Cleveland.
- Royals are 23-56 in their last 79 road games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Royals are 2-5 in their last 7 vs. American League Central.
- Indians are 38-14 in their last 52 vs. American League Central.
- Indians are 24-9 in their last 33 during game 1 of a series.
Indians 5, Royals 3