MLB Odds for August 28: Kansas City Royals vs Cleveland Indians
Sunday, August 28, 2011
by Frank Martin
Kansas City starter Bruce Chen has never been on a hot streak like this in his 14-year major-league career. He will have a chance to extend the run against a team he has dominated of late as he leads the Royals into the finale of a three-game series against the host Cleveland Indians.
Chen will be opposed by Indians righthander Justin Masterson.
It took 310 career games for Chen to finally put together four consecutive wins, something he accomplished with 7 2/3 solid innings in a 6-4 triumph over Toronto five days ago. The 34-year-old has another four-game winning streak on the line, this one against the Indians. He pitched well against them in their only encounter of 2011, holding them to a pair of runs over seven innings.
Masterson has been a thorn in the Royals' side this season. He is 2-0 in three starts against them and could have had a third victory in their previous meeting July 30, but he left after eight innings down 2-1. The Indians rallied for four runs in the ninth to win 5-2. The big righthander is enjoying a career year overall, with an ERA a full run below his all-time mark.
It has taken more than two months, but Mike Moustakas finally seems to be getting the hang of hitting in the major leagues. After posting some of the worst offensive numbers in the league in June and July, Moustakas is batting .293 in August. The 22-year-old has been especially hot since the middle of the month, hitting .514 (18-for-35) during a 10-game hitting streak he extended with a two-run double in the fourth inning of Saturday's 8-7 loss. The power he displayed in the minors is still absent - he has one home run in 233 at-bats - but his gap hitting is strong, as evidenced by his five doubles in the past 10 contests.
Jim Thome's first home run since returning to Cleveland - on his 41st birthday - provided a fitting opening act to Asdrubal Cabrera's go-ahead three-run homer in the eighth inning Saturday. Despite the victory, Cleveland remains 6 1/2 games behind front-running Detroit with just over a month left.
Making the chase even more daunting is the litany of injuries that have riddled the Indians' lineup. In the past week alone, ace hurler Josh Tomlin (elbow), outfielder Michael Brantley (wrist) and designated hitter Travis Hafner (foot) have joined Jason Kipnis (hamstring) and Grady Sizemore (knee, abdomen) on the wounded list.
Moustakas has had two hits in five straight games. He had six multi-hit performances in June and July combined.
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