Two teams playing some good ball as of last continue a divisional series when the first-place Royals and surging White Sox meet at the Cell Saturday afternoon. How are we betting this game?
Royals-White Sox Saturday Betting Odds
Most books we sampled opened Chicago and Jose Quintana at around -120 over Kansas City and Jeremy Guthrie, then bumped that price about a dime in the early betting. As of this writing the best line we could find on the Sox was the -129 offered at BetOnline, while the Royals could be found getting +127 at GTBets. And most of today's MLB betting market was posting a total of 8.5 on today's game.
These teams began this four-game series by splitting a double-header Friday; KC took Game 1 during the afternoon 4-2, while Chicago took the nightcap 2-0. Both those games played UNDER their totals.
The Sox, meanwhile, have won 10 of their last 14, and at 42-46 sit just six games behind Houston in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
KC leads this season series five games to three, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 5-2-1 margin.
Quintana (4-9, 3.69), by our strict standards, is 12-for-18 on quality starts this season, working on a run of three in a row. Last Sunday he held the Cubs to three runs through 7 1/3 innings, walking none while whiffing nine, and over his last three starts he's allowed six runs through 21 1/3 innings, with zero walks and 25 strikeouts. On the season Quintana has permitted 121 hits through 115 innings, walked 26 and struck out 101; Chicago is 7-11 in Quintana's starts, while the totals have skewed UNDER by a 13-5 margin, indicating he's been pitching in some bad luck.
Since the beginning of last season Quintana has started six times against Kansas City, giving up 22 runs and 50 hits through 39 2/3 innings; the Sox only won one of those games.
Guthrie (7-5, 5.36) is just six-for-17 on quality starts this year, but two for his last three. Ten days ago he gave up four runs - three earned - in six innings against Tampa, and over his last three starts he's allowed seven ER through 19 1/3 innings. For the season Guthrie has given up 115 hits through 96 innings, while compiling a mediocre strikeouts/walks ratio of 50/28; still, the Royals are 11-6 in Guthrie's starts, with the totals going 8-7.
Guthrie started five times against the Chicago White Sox last year, allowing 10 runs and 25 hits through 31 1/3 innings; KC won four of those games, while three of those games played UNDER.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Kansas City ranks fifth in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .267 team batting average, and 13th with a .319 team on-base percentage.
Chicago, meanwhile, ranks 22nd against right-handed pitching with a .245 average and 24th with a .302 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at the Cell this season have skewed toward the UNDERS by a lopsided 31-10 margin, averaging just 6.5 runs per.
Saturday's Free MLB Picks
Quintana owns the edge in the pitching match-up, but Guthrie owns the better recent track record against today's opponents. So we believe the value on today's line resides with Kansas City. Also, these teams played a pair of UNDERS yesterday, and our guess is today's game will play out similarly.