The Orioles have been playing poorly but have a chance to even up the series in the finale tonight. Yordano Ventura and the Royals will have other ideas as the MLB odds-on favorites.
As of now the Royals are firm -135 favorites on the MLB odds board, with some sportsbooks offering -130 and some a little higher at -140. If you want to back the Orioles, you can find them at roughly +115 to win.
We've got Yordano Ventura and Chris Tillman taking the bump tonight, both of whom have actually been pretty solid as of late. The O/U is at an even eight runs, though you should keep checking SBRodds.com to see if there's any line movement throughout the day.
Kansas City Royals (Ventura)
The Royals have enjoyed another outstanding season and have pulled away from the pack in the AL Central. They're a whopping 12 games up on the second-place Twins and will enter tonight's series finale with a 77-49 overall record. They may have lost last night but they've still won four of their last five overall.
It looks like Kansas City will have a good chance of adding another victory to the tally tonight when they send out Ventura to the mound. The young right-hander hasn't been nearly as effective this season as he was in 2014, but he does seem to be turning the corner and has posted a few quality starts recently, which is great news for the Royals.
Overall Ventura finds himself at 8-7 with a 4.64 ERA and 1.30 WHIP. He's allowed two or fewer earned runs in three straight assignments, however, and those solid performances came against some talented offenses in Boston, Detroit and the Los Angeles Angels. Ventura is 5-4 with a 4.23 ERA over 10 starts at home and will be taking on the Orioles for the first time here this evening. Will his run of quality outings continue?
Baltimore Orioles (Tillman)
It wasn't long ago that the Orioles were right in the thick of the playoff race, but their recent cold spell couldn't have come at a worse time. They've dropped six of their last seven to fall to an even 63-63 overall on the year, which obviously puts them squarely outside of the postseason picture.
There's still time, though, so Baltimore really needs to turn things around sooner rather than later, starting with tonight's finale in Kansas City. It'll be up to Chris Tillman to set the tone for the Orioles, who are priced out as underdogs on the MLB odds board. The right-hander is 9-8 with a 4.51 ERA and 1.32 WHIP thus far in 2015, but he's been far better since the All-Star Break, going 3-1 with a 2.50 ERA as opposed to a 5.40 ERA in the first half of the season.
Facing a patient and multi-dimensional offense like Kansas City is never easy, however, so Tillman will really need to be locked in if he wants to guide Baltimore to the win.
Some may look at Ventura's overall numbers and be scared off, but he's been pitching a lot better in recent weeks, and we've seen what he's capable of when on his game.
The Orioles have been a disaster lately, and while Tillman has been solid, he's still not all that reliable. We think Kansas City will make life difficult for him this evening, giving Ventura somewhat of a cushion to work with.
A lot of factors appear to be on the Royals' side here; Ventura has been rounding into form and will be at home, and we know how good that Kansas City bullpen is. With the Orioles struggling like they are and the Royals finding their stride heading into another postseason run, we feel good about taking on a little chalk and siding with the home team.
MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals -130 at 5Dimes