Houston split the first two games of its ALDS on the road in Kansas City, and is now favored on the MLB odds for both Game 3 at home with ace Dallas Keuchel, and for the series.
Royals-Astros ALDS Game 3 Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds we could find on Houston with lefty Dallas Keuchel was the -173 offered at Heritage, while KC with Edinson Volquez was getting +167 at 5Dimes. Bettors out there thinking about chasing a price could also play the Astros at upwards of +125 on the run line at various shops.
These teams split the first two games of this ALDS in Kansas City, Houston taking Game 1 Thursday 5-2, the Royals rallying to take Game 2 Friday 5-4. This handicapper hit on his free MLB pick on Game 1 with the underdog Astros, but missed with a play on Houston in Game 2.
5Dimes is now chalking Houston at -150 to win this series, with KC getting +130.
The Astros have taken five of eight games from the Royals this season, with the UNDERS going 5-2-1.
Game 3 Pitching Match-Up
Keuchel (21-8, 2.42), by our tough accounting, is 26-for-34 on quality starts this season, and four for his last four. Tuesday he pitched Houston to victory in the AL wild-card game against the Yankees, tossing six innings of three-hit, shutout ball, and over his last four starts he's allowed just four runs through 26 2/3 innings.
Houston is 24-10 in Keuchel's starts this season, with the UNDERS going 18-16.
In two starts this season against KC Keuchel ran hot/cold; in the first outing he threw eight shutout innings in a 4-0 Astros victory, but in the second he got clipped for five runs in 6 2/3 innings of a 5-1 defeat.
Volquez (13-9, 3.55) is 16-for-33 on quality starts. Most recently, one week ago, he tossed two innings of scoreless relief against Minnesota, and over his last four outings he's allowed seven runs through 20 innings.
For the season the Royals are 22-11 in games Volquez has started, with the OVERS going 16-14.
In his one start this season against Houston Volquez got nipped for five runs in five innings of a 6-5 Kansas City loss back in July.
Game 3 Batting Splits
KC ranked 11th in the Majors this season against left-handed pitching with a .323 team on-base percentage, and 15th with a .406 team slugging percentage.
Houston, on the other hand, ranked 18th against right-handed pitching with a .312 team OBP and fourth with a .439 team slugging percentage.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Minute Maid Park this season are 41-36 on the UNDERS, averaging 8.0 runs per.
ALDS Game 3 Free Picks
Keuchel gets the check-mark in the pitching match-up, and the Astros own a short edge with the sticks. So we like Houston for Game 3, and we'll take a chance with a play on the run line. Also, we rank both these bullpens among the top half-dozen or so in baseball at the moment, so we're thinking UNDER.
Picks: Astros +1.5 (+117) & UNDER 7 (+115) at Pinnacle