Fade Orioles vs. Royals on Thursday's MLB Picks

Jeff Grant

Thursday, May 15, 2014 1:26 PM GMT

The Kansas City Royals have been money-making machines as small favorites dating back to last season, which will lead to a series-opening victory over the Baltimore Orioles Thursday. Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting lines for this AL matchup at Kauffman Stadium.

Troubling times
Baltimore has scored just nine runs over the course of its four-game losing streak, which includes a 7-5 setback to the Detroit Tigers as +110 home underdogs Wednesday—dropping its record to 3-9 versus AL Central opponents.

The Orioles are having a difficult time on the mound in trying to close out ball games, considering closer Tommy Hunter’s 6.60 ERA and the fact that he’s allowed 29 base runners in 15 innings.

It’s important to point out that the franchise is 7-4 as road underdogs of +100 to +125 this season, with the 'over' going 6-5 in that situation.


Building momentum
Kansas City Royals have won three games in a row, including a 3-2 victory over the Colorado Rockies as -130 home favorites yesterday afternoon, while going 'under' the betting total for the third time in four affairs.

The Royals have a chance of putting together a major win streak, as their bullpen has tossed 19.1 innings of scoreless relief dating back to last week.

MLB handicappers will find that the squad is 8-1 as home favorites of -125 to -150 this season, with the 'under' cashing in five of those nine opportunities.


Chen
Orioles starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen (4-2, 3.95 ERA) has led the team to wins in five of his last six outings, including a 4-3 home victory over the Houston Astros last time out, as he surrendered two runs and five hits over seven innings of work.


The left-hander is 2-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three road efforts, with opposing hitters batting .302 against him (.301 at home).

In five lifetime appearances versus the Royals, Chen has tallied a 0-1 record and 4.60 ERA.


Ventura
Royals starting pitcher Yordano Ventura (2-2, 2.34 ERA) ranks sixth in the AL in ERA and third in opponents average (.203), but he suffered a 3-1 road defeat to the Seattle Mariners in his last trip to the mound.

The right-hander holds a career 2.18 ERA over four home starts, as he’s tries to lock down his first win at this ballpark.

Ventura has posted 19.0 career shutout innings over three outings against AL East opponents, which includes a 5-0 road win over the Baltimore Orioles on April 25.


Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Royals as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve gone 35-16 in their last 51 games as favorites of -110 to -150.

[gameodds]3/264070/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Free MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals -130