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August 19, 2017

There is one pick today.

Take Kansas City Royals (+125) on the ML against Cleveland Indians risking 3% to win 3.75%.
(Vargas and Bauer must start for wager to have action)

The Kansas City Royals were beaten soundly last night in the series opener as the Cleveland Indians came away with a 10-1 victory. In that matchup, the Indians clearly had the advantage with Corey Kluber taking on Ian Kennedy so there is really no surprise that the Royals were beaten soundly. In this matchup however, we believe the shoe will be on the other foot as it will now be the Royals who have the edge on the mound as Jason Vargas squares off against Trevor Bauer.

Vargas has certainly come back to earth recently after his incredible start to the season. Despite his recent "off" performances, Vargas is still 14-4 with a 3.45 ERA and 1.275 WHIP with 102 strikeouts over 135.2 innings of work this season. There was no question that Vargas could not keep up the torrid and impressive pace he was keeping, however, his seasonal numbers are still impressive nonetheless. He has also enjoyed quite a bit of success against the Indians in his career, having gone Vargas is 7-3 with a 1.70 ERA and a 0.946 WHIP over 17 starts (37 innings) in his career.

Trevor Bauer has been pitching well lately for the Indians and come into this contest 2-0 with a 2.18 ERA over his last three contests and has done so against the likes of Colorado, New York and Boston, all power-hitting teams. That being said, we believe this will be the matchup where Bauer will stumble. Kansas City is an extremely patient team at the plate and whereas those teams thrive on the long ball, Kansas City excels at the short game. They have the ability to wait for the right pitch and force a pitcher into mistakes and Bauer has made plenty of them this season, especially on the road. Bauer is just 4-5 with an inflated 6.32 ERA and WHIP of 1.574 in 10 starts on the highway this season.

This is an important series for the Royals as Cleveland holds a 6.5 game lead over them in the divisional standings. At the moment, KC is also a half game out of what is currently an incredibly close battle for the second and final Wild Card in the AL. Kansas City needs to have a strong showing in this series, and with an embarrassing Game 1 performance behind them, we expect them to come into this contest extremely motivated to even this series up. They'll have the edge on the mound tonight and we expect them to ride the arm of Vargas to a victory tonight.

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