Cardinals vs. Royals MLB Picks: Handicapping Wacha & Ventura

David Lawrence

Sunday, May 24, 2015 12:01 PM GMT

The MLB odds trading at the moment feature the St. Louis Cardinals as underdogs to the Royals. It’s going to be hard to dent Kansas City's confidence to any reasonable degree. 

The St. Louis Cardinals Can Win Because…
Their pitching matchup is performing extremely well, and is looking every bit like the staff-stabilizing pitcher the Cardinals want and need him to become. With Adam Wainwright almost certainly lost for the season with an injury suffered a month ago, the Cardinals needed other pitchers to step up. Michael Wacha has answered his team’s need for an excellent starter in the rotation. Wacha has a gleaming 2.13 ERA over the course of eight starts. He’s allowed more than two earned runs in only one of those eight starts. He’s displayed machine-like consistency and has been a rock for this team.

On the flip side, he’ll be going up against Yordano Ventura, who has struggled to find that same level of consistency. Ventura is fresh off a strong outing against the Reds where he went seven innings with no earned runs but in the three starts prior, he had given up a whopping 14 earned runs. Kansas City has actually lost three of Ventura’s last four starts, so the Cardinals should be able to pounce on him and take advantage.

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The Kansas City Royals Can Win Because…
They’ve got one of their best arms on the mound in Ventura. Sure, he’s had some hiccups this season en route to a 4.56 ERA but he’s managed to pitch well at home. To date, Ventura has a 3.31 ERA at home with a healthy 0.93 WHIP. Opposing batters are hitting just .218 against him at home. It’s on the road where he’s had most of his issues, posting a 5.23 ERA and 1.45 WHIP.

The Cardinals are unquestionably one of the best teams in baseball but they’ve hit a rough patch right now. They have lost three straight games and their offense has disappeared. They have totaled just two runs in those outings, so it makes it hard to trust them. As for the Royals, they’ve won five straight while allowing their opponents to score a total of three runs. Look for that dominance to continue on Sunday.

 

Baseball Betting Outlook
The MLB odds favored Royals are rolling and the Cardinals are struggling, so if you chose to take Kansas City with your MLB picks, I wouldn’t blame you. However, I don’t see them getting swept. Ventura does pitch better at home and the Cards offense is laboring, combined with the fact that Wacha has been steady, I’ll go with the under in this spot. The first two games of the series have averaged 5.0 combined runs per game (even though Saturday’s affair was cut short) and I’ll expect a similar number on Sunday afternoon.

MLB Pick: Under at BetOnline