Indians vs. Royals MLB Odds & Picks: How to Bet AL Central Series Opener (Monday, May 3)
Ron Schwane/Getty Images. Pictured: Cleveland Indians starting pitcher Aaron Civale.
- Daniel Lynch will make his MLB for the Royals against the Indians.
- Aaron Civale will start for the Indians, who are off to a slow start in 2021.
- Matthew Trebby breaks down how to bet this AL Central series opener.
Indians vs. Royals Odds
|Time||Monday, 8:10 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Sunday and via PointsBet|
The Kansas City Royals get a glimpse of their future Monday, plus they also look to build upon their American League Central lead against the Cleveland Indians.
Top pitching prospect Daniel Lynch will make his first big-league start for the Royals opposite Indians right-hander Aaron Civale. Lynch hasn’t pitched competitively since 2019, but his results are undeniable.
Let’s break down where we see betting value on this game.
After registering a 4.74 ERA that appeared to be a bit unlucky with a 4.03 FIP last season, Civale’s 2.94 ERA through five starts is accompanied by a 3.98 FIP. The biggest difference is that batted balls aren’t finding holes. He allowed 10 hits per nine innings last season, but he’s currently at 5.9 this year. Somewhere in the middle likely makes more sense than either number.
Civale had a 2.18 ERA through his first 20 2/3 innings, but his last two outings have been a bit rougher around the edges. He allowed seven runs (six earned) over 13 innings against the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins.
Kansas City Royals
We don’t have much to go off since the 2019 season for Lynch. What we do know is that he has thrived at every level of the minors. Lynch has a 2.50 ERA in 32 minor-league starts, including a 1.58 mark in nine outings at Class A and 3.10 in 15 appearances at the Class A Advanced level.
Lynch is the Royals’ No. 2 prospect, according to MLB.com, behind only Bobby Witt Jr. He’s primarily a fastball-slider-changeup pitcher, with the occasional curveball mixed in. Lynch’s heater hits the high 90s, and reports indicated that his development didn’t stop just because he was at the Royals’ alternate site last season and to start this year.
It’s a big moment for Royals fans. They’ve seen a rebuilding club take the field for a few years now, but they’re about to see the benefits. Kansas City has a few other promising arms who could debut at some point this season as well..
How does that translate to betting value? Well, the Indians have never seen him and Lynch has legitimate stuff. It probably helps he pitched at a high level in college as well.
At the plate, the Royals rank 14th in OPS and need to get more from a few regulars: Hunter Dozier, Whit Merrifield and Jorge Soler. Salavdor Perez and Carlos Santana have hit well above average this season, but the top and bottom of the order need someone else to step up.
Kansas City’s bullpen ranks 24th in ERA, which is no surprise since it features multiple names who have been written off by most other teams in the majors (Wade Davis is the first to come to mind).
I don’t fully trust Civale, especially since Kansas City’s .724 OPS against righties is sixth in all of baseball.
On the other side, there’s no doubting Lynch’s stuff and early success in the minors. However, the show is a totally different animal. Between that and Kansas City’s shaky bullpen, it’s reasonable to think Cleveland’s lineup could have a solid night at the plate.
The total is a pretty standard at 8.5 runs. Both teams have showed flashes offensively, so we’ll back enough of them to come alive for the over to hit.
Pick: Total Over 8.5 Runs