MLB Picks: Porcello & Red Sox To Dethrone The Royals

Monday, May 16, 2016 11:00 AM GMT

The Royals send right-hander Yordano Ventura to the Hill against red-hot Red Sox righty Rick Porcello. Let’s look at the particulars and come up with an MLB pick for this game!

Jackie Bradley Jr. will try to extend his Hitting Streak to 22 games as his Boston Red Sox head to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on Monday night to play the World Champion Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of this 3-game AL series. The host Royals are scheduled to send right-hander Yordano Ventura to the Hill against red-hot Red Sox righty Rick Porcello who has gotten off to a nice 6-1 start. Let's look at the L10 games in this series, the scheduled Starting Pitchers, the very rainy Weather Forecast and some of the other particulars and come up with a logical pick in what should be an exciting game from the Show Me State.

Odds Overview
The Kansas City Royals (18-19) send right-hander Yordano Ventura (3-2, 4.62 ERA) to the Pitcher's Mound on Monday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri to face right-hander Rick Porcello (6-1, 3.11 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) and the Boston Red Sox (24-14) in Game 1 of this 3-game AL series. Offshore oddsmakers have made the visiting Red Sox and the hot Porcello -114 favorites with the host Royals and Ventura priced at +104 as the Home Underdogs (Heritage) with the game's Total (Runs) opening set at 8 (Under -115, Heritage). The Run Line MLB odds in this game see Boston -1½ —23-15 ATS on the Run Line— priced at +147 with Kansas City getting the Run-and-a-half (+1½) currently lined at -163 (Heritage).


Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox (12/1 to win World Series, Marathon) have had a surprisingly nice start to this season and at 10 games over .500 and with a 24-14 Record, the Carmines (8-2 L10) are tied with the Baltimore Orioles (23-13 ) atop the AL East and lead the division in Run Differential with a +59 (229-170) heading in here. The Red Sox (10-6 on Road) hit a torrid .369 over their recently completed 7-game Homestand at Fenway Park (6-1) and outscored their opponents 73-37 over those games. On Sunday, the Red Sox (W2) rallied for a 10-9 win over the Houston Astros after blowing an early 4-run lead. In that game, Boston Manager Terry Francona had a Starting Lineup of RF Mookie Betts, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Xander Bogaerts, 1B Travis Shaw, DH Hanley Ramirez, CF Jackie Bradley Jr., 3B Josh Rutledge, LF Brock Holt, C Ryan Hanigan with Sean Sullivan (4.1 IP, % Hits, 5 ER) the Red Sox Starting Pitcher. At the Plate, Rutledge was 3-for-4 with 3 Runs scored for hot-hitting Boston while Betts and Hannigan were were both 2-for-4 while Bogaerts launched his 4th Home Run of the season while veteran slugger David Ortiz (7 HRs, 11 Doubles, 23 RBI in his L22 games), was given the day off. And the remarkable Bradley Jr. (.331) had a Single in the 5th Inning to extend his Hit Streak to 21 games.

Kansas City Royals
Whereas as Manager Francona and the Bosox have to be at least a little bit pleased with their start this 2016 MLB Regular Season, the defending World Champion Kansas City Royals (22/1 to win World Series, bet365) and Manager Ned Yost have to be at least a little disappointed with their 18-19 Record heading here and especially the 7-13 Road mark and the -18 Run Differential (131-149) for a team that prides itself on its Defense and which has made it all the way to the L2 World Series. But the powers may be shifting in the American League some with the AL Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox (24-14) and those aforementioned Orioles (23-13) off to nice starts in the Junior Circuit. On Sunday, the Royals (4-6 L10, 18-19 Run Line) defeated the lowly Atlanta Braves at Kauffman Stadium, 4-2 to take the series (2-1) as leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar went 4-for-6 and scored twice in the Kansas City victory. In Sunday's win over Atlanta, Kansas City Manager Yost's Starting Lineup Card looked like this: SS Alcides Escobar, LF Alex Gordon, 1B Eric Hosmer, DH Kendrys Morales, C Salvador Pérez, 3B Chester Cuthbert, RF Paulo Orlando, 2B Omar Infante, CF Jarrod Dyson with right-hander Danny Duffy (3.0 IP) being the first of 9 Royals Hurlers, 8 of whom went exactly 1 IP in Relief with Wade Davis (2 ER) being the only one from the Kansas City Bullpen who got touched up. Besides Escobar and his 4 Hits, Kansas City got 2 Hits from Hosmer (Single, Double) and a Home Run from Morales, but the Royals bats really need to wake up including guys who didn't play on Sunday like usual starting CF Lorenzo Cain and C Salvador Pérez. This combination of light hitting with a Starting Staff that has had a 5.13 ERA in its L12 has not been good for the Royals (3-4 vs. AL East).

Pitchers Report Card
The edge here obviously goes to the visitors and sinkerballer Porcello with his 6-1 start to the season as well as his 3.11 ERA, 46 K's and six straight Quality Outings this year. Lifetime, Porcello is 6-4 with a 4.43 ERA vs. the Royals. Against Kansas City, Gordon (.303, 2 HRs, 7 RBI), Hosmer (.346, 2 HRs, 3 RBI) and Cain (.385 in 13 ABs) have all had some success against Porcello but he is pitching better Now than he was Then and the Royals hitters are hitting worse than they have over the L 2-3 seasons, although they are known for scraping across and manufacturing Runs. Over the L5 seasons, Kansas City righty Ventura has faced no Boston (10-4 L14 vs. Royals, 5-2 L7 at Kauffman Stadium) batter more than 7 times with Holt 2-for-3 (.667) and Ortiz 2-for 5 (.400) having some success in those limited Plate Appearances. In his last Start on Wednesday against the Yankees, Ventura allowed 3 ER's in a 7-3 Kansas City win, but the right-hander will have to be very careful with the Red Sox Ortiz who rested Sunday, will be playing his last series ever at Kauffman Stadium (he's retiring) and the lefty slugger is hitting .341 with 7 HRs, 11 Doubles and 23 RBI in his L22 games. And Big Papi and his hot-hitting teammates will be going up against a Starting Rotation which has a 7.07 ERA in its L11 games. From a handicapping standpoint, this seems to be a solid advantage for the Red Sox with the hotter Pitcher (Porcello) and the much hotter Bats. When Porcello gets the pill, Boston is 4-0 in his L4 starts with 4 Days of Rest, 6-1 in his L7 Starts and 4-1 in his L5 Starts on Manic Monday, a day in which the Royals are 0-5 in their L5 games. Edge Carmines.

Trends, Weather, Thoughts and Game Picks
The Weather Forecast for Kansas City (Missouri) on Monday night calls for periods of Rain (90% Chance of Rain), a Low of 48° with ENE Winds of 10-20 mph, so nasty conditions and a Delay or a Postponement is a real possibility as this Wet (and Cold) Spring continues in the Lower 48 United States. In the L10 meetings in this series, we find that the Red Sox are 6-4 with the Over being a strong 7-2-1 ATS and losing just once in the L9 meetings with Boston going 3-2 in the L5 games at Kauffman Stadium and scoring 13, 4, 7, 8 and 1 Runs in those games. Trend-wise, the Red Sox are 7-1 in their L8 vs. a team with a Losing Record, 5-0 their L5 vs. a Starter with a WHIP over 1.30 (Ventura, 1.57 WHIP) and 16-5 in their L21 overall. Kansas City is 0-7 in its L7 following a Win but 35-16 in its L51 at Home vs. a Right-Handed Starter, 46-22 in its L68 Home games and 35-16 in its L51 at Kauffman Stadium against a Right-Handed Starter. But the World Champion Royals are just 6-13 in their L19 overall and 6-13 their L19 on Grass and just 11-24 their L35 Home game against a team with a Road Winning Percentage above .600. In the Totals Department, the Over is 15-6-5 in Kansas City's L26 Monday games—and 5-0 in the L5 and 7-1-1 the L9 meetings between these two in Kansas City—but the Under is 44-20-3 in the Royals L67 against a team with a Winning Percentage above .600. But there's that huge possibility of Rain.

This game is a good chance to bet the Red Sox at a fair price and remember Ortiz rested on Sunday and will be facing a Right-Hander in Ventura and that with Bradley and his 21-game Hitting Streak, Betts, the reliable Pedroia, Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and others banging the baseball, Boston may go Over the posted Total themselves, Weather permitting of course. And if the Forecast wasn't so gloomy, the Over would definitely be another MLB pick here but with the Travel, it being Monday, a Game 1 and that 90% chance of Rain (The Weather Channel), choosing the right side and backing the high-scoring team which will get 27 Outs is the prescription. And the Royals looked very, very weak against an anemic Braves team.

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Free MLB Picks: Red Sox -114 & -1½ +147
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Predicted Final Score: Red Sox 7 Royals 2