MLB Picks: Porcello & Red Sox Set To Dethrone The Royals

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, May 17, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 17, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

The Royals send right-hander Yordano Ventura to the Hill against red-hot Red Sox righty Rick Porcello. Let’s look at the particulars and come up with an MLB pick for this game!

Jackie Bradley Jr. will try to extend his Hit Streak to 22 games as his Boston Red Sox head to Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on Tuesday night to play the World Champion Kansas City Royals in Game 1 of this 3-game AL series after Monday night’s scheduled series opener was rained out. The host Royals simply pushed the scheduled start of RHP Yordano Ventura up a day to Tuesday as did the Red Sox with hot RHP Rick Porcello who has gotten off to a nice 6-1 start. Let’s look at the L10 games in this series, the scheduled Starting Pitchers, an updated Weather Forecast and some of the other particulars and come up with a logical MLB pick in what on paper looks like a Pitcher’s Duel from Kauffman Stadium.


Odds Overview
Boston Red Sox at Kansas City Royals [Wednesday 01:15] (ESPN, FSN-Kansas City, NESN, MLB Extra Innings 3, Directv 206, Directv 628, Directv 672 (US), 8:15 p.m. EDT/5:15 p.m. PDT): The Kansas City Royals (18-19) send right-hander Yordano Ventura (3-2, 4.62 ERA) to the Pitcher’s Mound on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri to face right-hander Rick Porcello (6-1, 3.11 ERA, 0.99 WHIP) and the Boston Red Sox (24-14) in Game 1 of this 3-game AL series. With this Game 1 being Postponed by Rain on Monday, both teams simply moved their Starters up to Tuesday and the two teams will now play a Doubleheader on Wednesday to makeup Monday’s game. Boston announced late Monday that it would start Steven Wright in Wednesday’s day game and southpaw David Price in the night game while the Royals said they’d be pitching Ian Kennedy and Edinson Vólquez but reportedly did not specify for which games. For Tuesday night now, the MLB odds have made the visiting Red Sox and the red-hot Porcello -134 favorites with the host Royals and Ventura now priced at +124 as the Home Underdogs (Bookmaker) with the game’s Total (Runs) opening at 7½ (Under -119, Bookmaker).The Run Line has opened up with host Boston -1½ priced at +135 (5Dimes) with host Kansas City +1½ at -155.


Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox (12/1 to win World Series, Marathon) have had a surprisingly nice start to this season and at 10 games over .500 and with a 24-14 Record, the Carmines (8-2 L10) are tied with the Baltimore Orioles (23-13 ) atop the AL East and lead the division in Run Differential with a +59 (229-170) heading in here. The Red Sox (10-6 on Road) hit a torrid .369 over their recently completed 7-game Homestand at Fenway Park (6-1) and outscored their opponents 73-37 over those games. On Sunday, the Red Sox (W2) rallied for a 10-9 win over the Houston Astros after blowing an early 4-run lead. In that game, Boston Manager Terry Francona had a Starting Lineup of RF Mookie Betts, 2B Dustin Pedroia, SS Xander Bogaerts, 1B Travis Shaw, DH Hanley Ramirez, CF Jackie Bradley Jr., 3B Josh Rutledge, LF Brock Holt, C Ryan Hanigan with Sean Sullivan (4.1 IP, % Hits, 5 ER) the Red Sox Starting Pitcher. At the Plate, Rutledge was 3-for-4 with 3 Runs scored for hot-hitting Boston while Betts and Hannigan were were both 2-for-4 while Bogaerts launched his 4th Home Run of the season while veteran slugger David Ortiz (7 HRs, 11 Doubles, 23 RBI in his L22 games), was given the day off (and got a bonus extra one with Monday’s Rainout). And the remarkable Bradley Jr. (.331) had a Single in the 5th Inning to extend his Hit Streak to 21 games.


Kansas City Royals
Whereas as Manager Francona and the Bosox have to be at least a little bit pleased with their start this 2016 MLB Regular Season, the defending World Champion Kansas City Royals (22/1 to win World Series, bet365) and Manager Ned Yost have to be at least a little disappointed with their 18-19 Record heading here Tuesday and especially with the 7-13 Road mark and the -18 Run Differential (131-149) for a team that prides itself on its Defense and which has made it all the way to the L2 World Series. But the powers may be shifting in the American League some with the AL Central Division-leading Chicago White Sox (24-14) and those aforementioned Orioles (23-13) off to nice starts in the Junior Circuit. On Sunday, the Royals (4-6 L10, 18-19 Run Line) defeated the lowly Atlanta Braves at Kauffman Stadium, 4-2 to take the series (2-1) as leadoff hitter Alcides Escobar went 4-for-6 and scored twice in the Kansas City victory. In Sunday’s win over Atlanta, Kansas City Manager Yost’s Starting Lineup Card looked like this: SS Alcides Escobar, LF Alex Gordon, 1B Eric Hosmer, DH Kendrys Morales, C Salvador Pérez, 3B Chester Cuthbert, RF Paulo Orlando, 2B Omar Infante, CF Jarrod Dyson with right-hander Danny Duffy (3.0 IP) being the first of 9 Royals Hurlers, 8 of whom went exactly 1 IP in Relief with Wade Davis (2 ER) being the only one from the Kansas City Bullpen who got touched up. Besides Escobar and his 4 Hits, Kansas City got 2 Hits from Hosmer (Single, Double) and a Home Run from Morales, but the Royals bats really need to wake up including guys who didn’t play on Sunday like usual starting CF Lorenzo Cain and C Salvador Pérez. This combination of light hitting with a Starting Staff that has had a 5.13 ERA in its L12 has not been good for the Royals (3-4 vs. AL East).


Pitchers Report Card
The edge here goes to the visitors and sinkerballer Porcello with his 6-1 start to the season as well as his 3.11 ERA, 46 K’s and six straight Quality Outings this year. Lifetime, Porcello is 6-4 with a 4.43 ERA vs. the Royals. Against Kansas City, Gordon (.303, 2 HRs, 7 RBI), Hosmer (.346, 2 HRs, 3 RBI) and Cain (.385 in 13 ABs) have all had some success against Porcello but he is pitching better Now than he was Then and the Royals hitters are hitting worse than they have over the L 2-3 seasons, although they are known for scraping across and manufacturing Runs. Over the L5 seasons, Kansas City righty Ventura has faced no Boston (10-4 L14 vs. Royals, 5-2 L7 at Kauffman Stadium) batter more than 7 times with Holt 2-for-3 (.667) and Ortiz 2-for 5 (.400) having some success in those limited Plate Appearances. In his last Start on Wednesday against the Yankees, Ventura allowed 3 ER’s in a 7-3 Kansas City win, but the right-hander will have to be very careful with the Red Sox Ortiz who rested both Sunday and now Monday, will be playing his last series ever at Kauffman Stadium (he’s retiring) and the lefty slugger is hitting .341 with 7 HRs, 11 Doubles and 23 RBI in his L22 games. And Big Papi and his hot-hitting teammates will be going up against a Starting Rotation which has a 7.07 ERA in its L11 games. From a handicapping standpoint, this seems to be a solid advantage for the Red Sox with the hotter Pitcher (Porcello) and the much hotter Bats. When Porcello gets the pill, Boston is 4-0 in his L4 starts with 4 Days of Rest and 6-1 in his L7 Starts.


Trends, Weather, Thoughts and Picks
After Monday night’s Rainout, the Weather Forecast for Kansas City (Missouri) on Tuesday night calls for a few Clouds, a Low of 48° with NE Winds of 5-10 mph, so definitely not as nasty as Monday’s Forecast which called for a 90% Chance of Rain (and delivered). In the L10 meetings in this series, we find that the Red Sox are 6-4 with the Over being a strong 7-2-1 ATS and losing just once in the L9 meetings with Boston going 3-2 in the L5 games at Kauffman Stadium and scoring 13, 4, 7, 8 and 1 Runs in those games. Trend-wise, the Red Sox are 7-1 in their L8 vs. a team with a Losing Record, 5-0 their L5 vs. a Starter with a WHIP over 1.30 (Ventura, 1.57 WHIP) and 16-5 in their L21 overall. Kansas City is 0-7 in its L7 following a Win but 35-16 in its L51 at Home vs. a Right-Handed Starter, 46-22 in its L68 Home games and 35-16 in its L51 at Kauffman Stadium against a Right-Handed Starter. But the World Champion Royals are just 6-13 in their L19 overall and 6-13 their L19 on Grass and just 11-24 their L35 Home game against a team with a Road Winning Percentage above .600. In the Totals Department, the Over is 5-0 in the L5 and 7-1-1 the L9 meetings between these two in Kansas City but the Under is 44-20-3 in the Royals L67 against a team with a Winning Percentage above .600. And then there’s the Rain and those two pretty decent Starting Pitchers.

This game is a good chance to bet the Red Sox at a fair price and remember Ortiz has now rested 2 Days (Sunday, Monday) and will be facing a Right-Hander in Ventura and that along with Bradley and his 21-game Hitting Streak, Betts, the reliable Pedroia, Bogaerts, Hanley Ramirez and others banging the baseball, Boston may go Over the posted Total themselves, Weather permitting of course.

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Free MLB Picks: Red Sox -130 & -1½ +135
Best Line Offered: at Heritage
Predicted Final Score: Red Sox 6 Royals 2

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