Aces are Wild in the Royals/Astros Showdown Tonight

KC Royals

Swinging Johnson

Saturday, April 8, 2017 7:59 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 8, 2017 7:59 PM GMT

The Astros hope to even the score after dropping the first of a three-game set with the Royals. Let's review the MLB odds and analyze this matchup at Minute Maid Park tonight.

Kansas City Royals vs Houston Astros

 

Aces Wild

The Kansas City Royals will trot out their ace Danny Duffy (0-0, 1.50 ERA, 1.00 WHIP) who has been slowly ascending as one of the lesser known preeminent pitchers in the game. Last season he capped the year with a 12-3 record and a career high 188 strikeouts. The 28-year-old southpaw has a sizzling fastball which is enhanced by an effective sinker. Duffy last faced the Astros in July of 2015 when he limited Houston to just three hits on one run in six full innings of work. The result was a 2-1 home victory for Kansas City and Duffy has only gotten better since then.

Houston will be sending a left-hander of their own to the hill in the form of Dallas Keuchel (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP) to take on the visiting Royals. Keuchel looked like his 2015 Cy Young Award winning self in his first outing of the season when he sparkled for seven innings of two-hit shutout baseball in a 3-0 victory over the Mariners. Keuchel's last meeting with the Royals occurred in July where he surrendered four runs on 11 hits in the 13-4 loss. That performance was illustrative of his 2016 campaign as a nagging rotator cuff injury was primarily responsible for an underwhelming season that saw his ERA balloon from 2.48 in '15 to a bloated 4.55 last year.

 

And the Winner Is...

Allow me to take a moment to scratch my head. Here we have a pair of superior southpaws taking the bump and the team that won the first game of the series has been installed as a decided underdog by the MLB odds makers against a club that has averaged a mere 2.6 runs per game. Okay, so what am I missing here? I will grant you that if Keuchel is indeed the Keuchel of old then he is undeniably the betting favorite, particularly at home. But his opposite number is not exactly a head of lettuce as Danny Duffy has a dazzling arsenal of his own and pitched a dandy in his first outing of the season, limiting the Twins to one run on three hits in KC's 7-1 road win on Monday.

The Houston Astros have an offense capable of doing damage but the Royals are just one full season removed from their World Series-winning edition in 2015. The price is simply way too high in this one and though I am not one to espouse making a wager just for the sake of the purported "value" I do believe that the Royals have a nearly even chance to win this one tonight. And it is for that reason why I will happily include the Kansas City Royals in my MLB picks and grab all that vig that the oddsmakers want to give all the dog lovers in this one.

Free MLB Pick: Royals +164Best Line Offered: at Skybook

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