Balance Plays Key Factor in Backing Royals -115 vs. Tigers with Your MLB Picks

Steven Suarez

Thursday, April 30, 2015 1:44 PM GMT

The top two teams in the American League Central will open up what should be a terrific four-game series this evening. What kind of MLB odds are on offer?

Odds Overview
The Royals are small -115 favorites at the top online sportsbooks, with Detroit available for backing at +105 on the posted MLB odds.

If you want to get in on the action in a different way, consider a play on the total - the O/U is currently at eight runs, with Danny Duffy and Alfredo Simon the scheduled starters for this evening.

 

Kansas City Royals (Duffy)
The Royals just took two of three on the road in Cleveland, although they will be coming fresh off a loss in the finale yesterday. Yordano Ventura wasn't at his best and the Indians took advantage en route to a 7-5 win.

Overall, however, Kansas City has been playing well early on in 2015, with a 14-7 record ahead of tonight's opener against their division rivals. The Royals have shown outstanding balance, ranking in the top five in runs scored, batting average, on base percentage and slugging, and also ranking highly in team ERA, WHIP and opposing batting average. With contributions like that in both the hitting and pitching departments, it's no surprise to see Kansas City racking up the wins.

We'll have left-hander Danny Duffy taking the mound this evening. Command has been an issue for the talented southpaw, as he's yet to log more than 6 and 1/3 innings in any of his four starts. His pitch counts have been too high and he's been struggling to be efficient, which is why he's sporting a relatively high 4.15 ERA early on. Duffy will really have to be dialed in to tame this powerful Detroit offense tonight, but he has the talent to do it.

 

Detroit Tigers (Simon)
There's a clear divide between Detroit/Kansas City and the rest of the AL Central, which makes this upcoming series all the more interesting to track. The Tigers are currently tops in the division with a 15-7 record and they'll enter tonight having won four of their last five games overall, topped off by a 10-7 win over Minnesota yesterday.

One key reason for Detroit's early success has been the performances of new arrival Alfredo Simon, who's 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA and 0.95 WHIP over his first four assignments. Simon hasn't exactly faced the best offenses out there thus far, but it's hard to ignore what he's been able to do. The right-hander has allowed just five earned runs over 27 and 1/3 innings of work, with a 15:4 K:BB ratio.

It's clear Simon is enjoying life in the American League so far, but he's going to face his toughest test of the season tonight at Kansas City. The Royals are one of the most difficult teams to quiet down at the plate, so we cannot wait to see which side wins out.

 

MLB Pick
This seems like a good situation for us to take advantage of Duffy being undervalued. He's a better pitcher than his early results indicate, and this is a nice price we're getting on him at home.

Sure, Simon has gotten off to a ridiculously hot start, but there's regression coming, and it's only a matter of when. We know how pesky the Royals can be at the plate - they rarely strike out and tend to make life very difficult on opposing pitchers, so this seems like it's as good of a time as any for Simon to labor through.

We'll be recommending that readers back Kansas City at a very reasonable -115 price in the opener tonight. As we mentioned, they've been well-balanced, and we like them to squeak past Simon and the Tigers in this spot for our MLB picks.

Pick: Kansas City Royals -115 at BetOnline