Kansas City Royals’ Salvador Perez reacts after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2021, in Houston. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)
- The Guardians are -127 road favorites over the Royals on Thursday
- Shane Bieber (7-4, 3.17 in 2021) will start for the Guardians against Zack Greinke (11-6, 4.16)
- A look at the Guardians vs Royals odds and matchup can be found below with a pick
Playing as the Guardians for the first time, Cleveland visits the Kansas City Royals at 4:10 p.m. ET Thursday at Kauffman Stadium in the season opener for both teams.
Cleveland was 80-82 last season, finishing second in the American League Central. The Royals were fourth with a 74-88 record.
The Cleveland franchise changed its name to the Guardians in the offseason after being known as the Indians since 1915.
Guardians vs Royals Odds
|Cleveland Guardians||-127||-1.5 (-130)||Over 8 (-113)|
|Kansas City Royals||+107||+1.5 (-162)||Under 8 (-106)|
Odds as of April 6th at Barstool Sportsbook.
Shane Bieber (7-4, 3.17 in 2021) will pitch for the Guardians against Zack Greinke (11-6, 4.16).
The Guardians are -127 favorites, giving them an implied win probability of 55.95%. The weather forecast calls for a blustery day in Kansas City with a high of 50 degrees, a 20% chance of rain and winds from the west at 15-23 mph and gusting to 36 mph.
Bieber vs Greinke
Guardians Betting Outlook
Bieber was limited to 17 starts last season after winning the AL Cy Young Award during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. He was on the injured list from June 14-Sept. 23.
Bieber had a rough spring training, getting rocked for seven runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings while striking out seven and walking two.
Shane Bieber on Opening Day = No joke
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) April 1, 2022
Against the Royals, Bieber has been unbeatable with a 4-0 career record and 3.65 ERA in 10 starts. He is 2-0 with a 4.10 ERA in five outings at Kauffman Stadium.
Adalberto Mondesi and Carlos Santana are both 1 for 7 with three strikeouts against Bieber. Andrew Benintendi, though, has hit Bieber at a .563 (9 for 16) clip with four doubles and one home run.
Thursday marks the return to the dugout of manager Terry Francona. He missed large chunks of the last two seasons because of health issues.
Royals Betting Outlook
Greinke is making his return to the Royals after signing a one-year, $13-million contract as a free agent last month.
The Royals selected Greinke sixth overall in the 2002 amateur draft and he made his major league debut two years later. He spent seven seasons in Kansas City before also pitching for the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels, Los Angels Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Houston Astros in his 19-year career.
However, he doesn’t seem too excited about starting on opening day.
Zack Greinke doesn’t care if he’s that guy pal pic.twitter.com/uDc6MJKhaA
— Jomboy Media (@JomboyMedia) March 31, 2022
Greinke pitched 6.2 innings in the Cactus League this spring and gave four runs (three earned), eight hits and two walks while registering four strikeouts.
In 31 career games (26 starts) against Cleveland, Greinke is 11-9 with a 3.73 ERA. He has a 37-30 lifetime record at Kauffman Stadium with a 3.49 ERA in 114 games (94 starts).
Jose Ramirez, who agreed to a five-year, $124-million contract extension with the Guardians on Wednesday, is 1 for 6 versus Greinke but Amed Rosario is 4 for 10.
Greinke won’t be the only headliner for the Royals. The consensus top prospect in baseball, Bobby Witt Jr., will start at third base and make his major league debut.
Guardians vs Royals Injury Report
Guardians reliever James Karinchak (shoulder), catcher Luke Maile (hamstring) and outfielder/first baseman Josh Naylor (ankle/leg) are beginning the season on the injured list. Perhaps Chicago White Sox manager Tony La Russa put a curse on Karinchak.
White Sox manager Tony La Russa confronts Roberto Pérez on the field after James Karinchak accidentally hits José Abreu on the helmet with a pitch.
In the aftermath, Abreu embraces Karinchak on his way to first base. pic.twitter.com/287unE8YoP
— Bally Sports Cleveland (@BallySportsCLE) July 31, 2021
Relief pitcher Tyler Zuber (shoulder) is on the IL for the Royals.
Guardians vs Royals Last 10 Meetings
|Date||Home Team||Away Team||Score|
|9/20/21 (2)||Cleveland||Royals||KC, 4-2|
|9/20/21 (1)||Cleveland||Royals||KC, 7-2|
Guardians vs Royals Prediction
Cleveland has dominated the series in recent years, including going 14-5 against the Royals last season as Rosario batted .298 (17 for 57 with three doubles, a triple and three home runs. Since Kansas City last won the season series in 2015, the Guardians have an impressive 69-36 edge over the last six years.
The old (Greinke) and new (Witt) combining to lead the Royals to a win on opening day would be a great story. However, a healthy Bieber has proven tough for Kansas City to beat over the years.
The Pick: Guardians ML -127
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.