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Royals and Indians Square Off Again With First Place at Stake

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Once again, the Royals and Indians will meet with first place in the American League Central very much at stake. Amongst Kansas City and Cleveland, not much has changed. Last week, they split a four-game series in Kansas City, followed by winless weekends for both.

Cleveland has played slightly better than Kansas City at this point, which is reflected in both their run differential (+25) and their record (13-8). At 12-10, the Royals have only outscored their opponents by seven runs. Over the last two weeks, the Indians have gone 7-6. So in one sense they've maintained their hot start, while in another they've started to slide, ever so slightly.

The offenses:

BA OBP SLG Runs/Game
CLE .263 .334 .408 5.00
KC .269 .337 .409 5.09

As you can see above, the offenses are nearly identical, both in how they produce offense and how much offense they've produced.

Pitching & a dash of run prevention:

ERA FIP K/9 K/BB
CLE 3.69 3.73 6.18 1.84
KC 4.32 4.39 6.03 1.83

The Indians pitching staff & defense have done a better job overall at preventing runs, but at the K/BB level the staff's have been similar.

Unlike last week, this will be merely a three-game series, so barring a rainout, a split cannot happen. Both teams still have their heads above water, yet both teams are watching the water rise.