MLB Picks: Blue Jays vs. Royals

Steven Suarez

Saturday, April 13, 2013 4:55 PM GMT

Saturday, Apr. 13, 2013 4:55 PM GMT

Runs were aplenty in the opening game of this series. Can we expect more of the same with R.A. Dickey and James Shields on the mound tonight?

Odds Overview

Dickey's slow start has obviously had an effect on the MLB odds, as the Blue Jays are considered the underdogs for game two of this series.

Currently, Toronto is the underdog at +110 to +125, while Kansas City is at the -125 to -130 mark. The total for this baseball matchup is at 7.5 at essentially every sportsbook you look at.

Toronto Blue Jays (R.A. Dickey)

The Blue Jays lost two of three in Detroit, but were able to start off this series with Kasnas City with a 8-4 victory. J.A. Happ got the winning decision, while Luis Mendoza picked up his first loss of the season.

Toronto's bullpen came through after Happ was only able to last five innings. Sergio Santos pitched a scoreless sixth before Aaron Loup came in and didn't give up a hit over three innings to close out the game.

The win came at a price though. Jose Reyes had to be carted off the field due to an ankle injury and will head to the disabled list.

Without one of their top performing hitters, the Blue Jays will need a good start out of Dickey. He's been an utter disaster in his first two starts, but one would have to think it's only a matter of time before he finds his groove.

The law of averages suggests Dickey will be able to bounce back sooner rather than later, but the Royals bats have not been quiet and should give the knuckleballer another good test of will.

Kansas City Royals (James Shields)

It was not the start the Royals wanted against Toronto yesterday, but they'll like their chances with James Shields getting the call.

Shields was unlucky not to get the win back on his debut, as he gave up eight hits and one run in six innings of a 1-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox. Six days later he got his first win despite not pitching very well – he gave up 10 hits an four runs in the victory over Philadelphia

Though on a different team this season, Shields' 2012 numbers versus Toronto have to give Kansas City fans a lot of optimism.

He made three starts against the Blue Jays and went 2-0 with a 1.21 ERA. In 22 and 1/3 innings of work, he had 25 strikeouts and three walks, while holding Toronto to a horrendous batting average of .190.

If Shields can avoid a slow start – he was beaten up pretty badly by the Phillies in the first innings of his latest start – he should be able to settle in and keep Toronto's bats at bay.

[gameodds]3/224657/43-1537-19-999996-92/us[/gameodds]

MLB Pick

The Royals had their four-game winning streak snapped yesterday, but we expect them to get right back on track by evening up the series tonight.

Dickey is a tough nut to crack when on his game, but we haven't seen anything to suggest a dominant showing from the knuckleballer. The Royals' bats have been pesky, especially Alex Gordon and then Billy Butler, who is really hitting the ball better as of late.

Perhaps we won't see as much offense tonight, but in the end we are backing the Royals, whom are 3-1 at home, to get the win. This is a short price on Kansas City and we'll therefore be adding them to our MLB picks.

Pick: Kansas City Royals -127 at Pinnacle

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