This series has been great to watch between the Astros & Royals. With the winner of this game going on to the ALCS I'm going to back OVER the total when these two meet in KC.
Odds makers have the line set at 7.5 across the board right now, and I think that is just a little bit too low. Both these teams are getting a second look at these two pitchers, and we should see some quality at-bats from both teams. Right now there are some good odds at Pinnacle Sports at over the total of 7.5 at -106. For one of my MLB picks today I will back that both of these teams combined will get over that number.
Collin McHugh gets the start for Houston and comes in with a 3.89 ERA, 1.28 whip, 171 strikeouts, and a 19-7 record. Last time out against Kansas City pitched very well allowing just two earned runs off of four hits in six innings, unfortunately two of those hits were home runs. Still, he got the win last time in Kansas City, but I think that might be tough to do for a second time against a good offensive team in the Royals. Although he is pitched pretty well recently, on the road statistically has not been as sharp with a 4.05 ERA and batters hitting .263 against him
The Astros hit .250 as a team, average 4.50 runs per game, and have in OPS of .753. That OPS is second rank in all of major league baseball and the Astros have been playing extremely well to take this series to game five. Unfortunately they probably should have wrapped it up last game but the Royals made an amazing comeback. They got a good look at Kansas City starter Johnny Cueto and I look for them to have a lot of good productive, quality at-bats.
Kansas City Royals
Cueto takes the mound and comes in with a 3.44 ERA, 1.13 whip, 176 strikeouts, and in 11-13 record. This is just a spot that they brought him here for to win a big game like this. He had a horrible month of September with an ERA over 6.00 and except for a pretty good outing against Minnesota, he just has not been very sharp. His last time out against Houston he allowed four earned runs off of seven hits in just six innings. I'm guessing he's going to have a pretty short leash today but I expect Houston to come in pretty confident against him and score early.
Offensively the Royals hit .268 as a team, average 4.47 runs per game, and have in OPS of .734. They rank in the top 10 in most offensive categories and their batting average ranks second in the major leagues. They should come in with a ton of confidence even though they struggled a little bit against McHugh their last time they faced him in Kansas City. They grabbed some great momentum from the eighth inning on last game and I look for them to continue that today.
I expect both these teams to swing some good lumber today against these two decent but not great pitchers. For one of your MLB picks I suggest taking the over in this spot as this looks to be more of an offensive game than a day for the guys on the mound. At the end of the day I think this game to go either way and I can't wait to watch it.
MLB Picks: Astros & Royals OVER 7.5 (EV) at 5Dimes