The Royals host the Orioles and struggling starter Ubaldo Jimenez tonight. With Kansas City's home dominance and Jimenez's on field struggles is there any reason to doubt the Royals?
Baltimore Orioles (Jimenez) vs. KC Royals (Medlen) (-130) 8:10 ET
Baltimore Orioles visit the KC Royals for the first game of this early week set. The first pitch is set for 8:10 ET. Always dangerous at this time of year to play on a hungry team (like Baltimore) against a satisfied team (KC) who has a 12 ½ game division lead and the best record in the American League by 6 full games over Houston. A much overrated statistic in MLB is that of home runs. Consider that Baltimore has clouted 161 homers (4th best in MLB) compared to 97 HRs by the Royals (4th worst in MLB). Yet, the Royals’ version of small ball has produced a record that is 13 games better than the Orioles.
Baltimore's Recent Struggles
Baltimore enters today on a 4-game slide, losing 3 consecutive contests by a single run on their home field to Minnesota. Now these Orioles, along with the Twins, Texas, Tampa Bay and the LA Angels, are within 3 games of each other in the loss column, as they vie for the final Wild Card position in the AL Playoffs. Entering Kansas City with low self-esteem and a 25-36 road record is certainly not a way in which they can gain revenge for the 2014 playoff sweep by the Royals. Small ball won that series by a total of only 6 runs. Tonight’s Baltimore starter, Jimenez, does not figure to be the answer. In 13 Jimenez road starts, Baltimore is 4-9 in which Jimenez has a 4.61 ERA and a 1.54 road WHIP. In 2 starts against the Royals last year, Jimenez went 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA.
Kansas City's Homecoming
The Royals return home with renewed confidence after their bats broke out for a pair of victories in Boston this weekend. That included an 8-6 late-inning win in Fenway on Sunday. A home field where they are 42-20 (fewest home losses of any American League team) is an additional ally. Tonight’s starter, Medlen, takes the place of Guthrie, who has been sent to the bullpen due to his poor performance. This is a great opportunity for Medlen to pitch well and claim a spot in the Royals’ rotation going down the stretch. Medlen was outstanding for Atlanta last year, where in 32 games, he posted a 3.11 ERA. His work in the bullpen for the Royals this season has been outstanding with a 2.51 ERA. This is the first time most Baltimore hitters will be facing the slants of Medlen.
As badly as Baltimore needs this victory, they are in a PLAY AGAINST spot because of their road record, their current form and the work of Jimenez on the road. For our MLB Picks today we prefer the strong home field of the Royals and the highly-motivated Medlen.
Free MLB Pick: Royals -122 at YouWager