The Royals are stumbling just a bit as of late, and lost the opener of this series in Detroit Friday night. Do we back KC to rebound, or are the home-dog Tigers the choice?
Royals-Tigers Saturday Odds
In the early betting on this game KC and Edinson Volquez could be found at -132 at Pinnacle, while Detroit and lefty Matt Boyd were getting +126 at 5Dimes. The Royals were also getting +130 giving the run and a half on the run line at Heritage.
The Tigers took the opener of this series Friday night 5-4 in 12 innings, on a walk-off base hit from Dixon Machado. So the Tigers have won four games in a row, while Kansas City has lost 10 of its last 14 contests.
At 86-61 Kansas City still leads the AL Central by 10.5 games over second-place Minnesota, but its lead in the battle for the best record in the American League is down to a single game over surging Toronto.
At 68-78 Detroit is playing for next year.
The Royals lead this season series nine games to eight, with the OVERS going 9-8.
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back on Sept. 3, a 15-7 Kansas City victory.
Boyd (1-5, 8.02) is just one-for-nine on quality starts this season, one-for-seven since joining Detroit in that David Price trade with Toronto back near the deadline. Eleven days ago he gave up three runs in five innings against Tampa, and over his last three starts he's given up 14 runs in just 12 innings. For the season Boyd has allowed 60 hits through 43 innings, walked 14 and struck out 31.
Detroit is 2-5 in Boyd's starts, with the UNDERS going 4-3.
In three starts this season against KC Boyd has allowed 10 runs through 13 1/3 innings; the Tigers lost two of those games.
Volquez (13-8, 3.59) is 15-for-30 on quality starts, alternating good/bad for about the last five weeks. Three starts ago, against this Detroit outfit, Volquez gave up six runs in just three innings; next time out he held Minnesota to two runs through seven innings; then Monday he gave up four runs on seven hits and three walks in just five innings against Cleveland. On the season Volquez has allowed 170 hits through 180 innings, walked 63 and struck out 134.
The Royals are 21-9 in games Volquez has started, with the OVERS going 14-13.
In three starts this season against Detroit Volquez has allowed 13 ER through 16 innings; Kansas City lost two of those games, with the OVERS going 2-1.
Saturday's Batting Splits
Kansas City ranks 12th in the Bigs this season against left-handed pitching with a .321 team on-base percentage, and 16th with a .400 team slugging percentage.
Detroit, meanwhile, ranks 10th against right-handed pitching with a .322 team OBP and eighth with a .414 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Comerica Park this season are 35-33 on the OVERS, averaging 8.9 runs per.
Kansas City OF Lorenzo Cain has missed recent action with a sore ankle, but could return to the lineup tonight.
Royals-Tigers Free Picks
Volquez gets the check mark in the pitching match-up, and KC owns the advantage in the bullpen comparison. So we'll go with the Royals as our MLB pick. Also, these two starters have combined to allow 23 runs through 29 innings this season against tonight's opponents, so we're thinking OVER.
MLB Picks: Kansas City and OVER 8.5 runs (-120) at 5Dimes.