MLB Picks: Royals vs. Padres Series Coverage

Darin Zank

Monday, May 5, 2014 2:05 PM UTC

Monday, May. 5, 2014 2:05 PM UTC

These two teams have split the first two games of this series, after KC's 3-1 victory in 11 innings Tuesday night. The game also gave us a victory on our free pick with the UNDER. So this inter-league series will be decided by a rubber match Wednesday afternoon (3:40 pm ET).


7th May
Royals vs. Padres Game 3

By: Ron Patrick


Wednesday's Line
In the early betting San Diego and Andrew Cashner were favored by around -110 over KC and James Shields, with a total of 6.5 runs.  


 Wednesday's Pitching Match-Up
Cashner (2-4, 2.72) is five-for-seven on quality starts this season, although only one for his last three. Most recently he held Arizona to two runs through six innings of a 2-0 loss last Friday, but in his two starts prior to that he had given up eight ER and 16 hits in 12 innings. 

For the season Cashner has allowed 53 base-runners (hits + walks) in 46 1/3 innings, walked 14 and struck out 37. San Diego is 3-4 in Cashner's starts, and because the Padres have provided him with almost no run support, each of his seven starts have stayed UNDER on the totals.

This will be Cashner's first-ever start vs. the Royals.

Shields (3-3, 3.11) is four-for-seven on quality starts this year. Last time out he got bombed for eight runs and 12 hits in 6 1/3 innings of an 8-2 loss to Detroit last Friday, but in his three starts prior to that he had allowed just four ER through 21 innings.

On the season Shields has permitted 51 base-runners in 46 1/3 innings, while compiling a 44/10 K/BB ratio. The Royals are 3-4 in Shields' starts, with the totals going 4-2-1.

Shields last faced San Diego four years ago, when he was with Tampa.

Compare the top MLB World Series Betting Lines

Free Pick for Wednesday
KC is slightly better offensively against right-handed pitching than left-handed, while the Padres are worse vs. righties. And we expect Shields to bounce back, after a rough outing last time out. So we'll go with the Royals, getting +101 at Bookmaker, for our free pick on Wednesday's game


6th May
Royals vs. Padres Game 2

By: Ron Patrick


Tuesday's Line
In the early betting most books were listing Tuesday's game, which matches San Diego's Robbie Erlin against Kansas City's Jeremy Guthrie, at around a pick 'em, with a total of seven runs. 

With a breeze blowing out toward right field Monday night the teams combined to hit three home runs, including a key three-run blast by the Padres' Yasmani Grandal that erased a 3-0 Royals lead.

Tuesday's Pitching Match-Up
Lefty Erlin (1-4, 5.83), by our strict standards, is just one-for-five on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last four. Last time out he gave up three ER and eight hits in 6 2/3 innings against San Francisco, and over his last four starts he's allowed 18 ER in 22 innings.

For the season, including one appearance in relief, Erlin has permitted 41 base-runners (hits + walks) in 29 1/3 innings. San Diego is 1-4 in Erlin's starts, with the totals going 1-3-1, mainly because of poor run support from the Padres.

This will be Erlin's first-ever start against the Royals.

Guthrie (2-2, 4.50) is two-for-six on quality starts this year. Most recently he gave up four runs in six innings against Toronto, and over his last three starts he's allowed 10 runs in 19 1/3 innings.

On the season Guthrie has permitted 51 base-runners in 38 innings. KC is 3-3 in Guthrie's starts this season, with the totals going 4-2.

Guthrie last started against San Diego two years ago, when he was with Colorado, giving up six runs in seven innings of a 7-1 Rockies loss.

Free Pick for Tuesday
The Royals own a team OBP of .299 against lefties; the Padres own an OBP of .255 against righties. We'll go with the UNDER seven runs (-120) offered at Bookmaker for our free pick on Tuesday's game.



5th May
Royals vs. Padres Game 1

By: Ron Patrick


The Betting Lines
In the early betting on Monday's game most books were chalking Kansas City and Yordano Ventura at around -125 over San Diego and Eric Stults, with a total of 6.5 runs. The Royals could also be gotten at around +145 on the run line.

Also, The Greek was listing KC at -120 to win this series, with the Pads “getting” +100 as home dogs. The Greek was also offering an OVER/UNDER of 21 on the total number of runs scored in this series.

The Situation
San Diego just lost two of three games at home to Arizona, breaking a four-game losing streak with a 4-3 victory Sunday.

So San Diego, at 14-18, sits in fourth place in the NL West, 6.5 games behind first-place San Francisco.

Kansas City has lost four in a row, after getting swept three games at home by Detroit over the weekend. The Royals have scored just 11 total runs over that span.

So KC, at 14-16, occupies fourth place in the AL Central, five games back of first-place Detroit.

These two teams haven't met since June of 2011, when the Padres swept a three-game series in San Diego.


Monday's Pitching Match-Up
This will be both pitchers' first-ever starts against Monday's opponents.

Lefty Stults (1-3, 5.34) is just one-for-six on quality starts this season, in part because he's pitched six full innings just once. Last time out he got knocked around for five runs in less than three innings by San Francisco, and just before that he gave up two runs but 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings against Washington.

On the season Stults has permitted 39 base-runners (hits + walks) in 26 innings. San Diego is 3-3 in Stults' starts, with the totals going 2-3-1.

Hard-throwing rookie Ventura (2-1, 1.50) is three-for-five on quality starts. Last time out he held Toronto scoreless on two hits through five innings, and just before that he threw eight scoreless innings against Baltimore.

For the season Ventura has allowed 32 base-runners in 30 innings, and just one home run. The Royals are 3-2 in Ventura's starts, with the totals going 1-4.

If these games come down to the bullpens the Padres hold an advantage. San Diego's pen leads the Majors with a 1.71 ERA, going 11-for-12 on save opportunities, compiling an almost 3/1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio (89/32).

KC's pen, meanwhile, somewhat depleted by injuries, has struggled, ranking 24th with a 4.26 ERA, blowing four of 11 save chances.


With the Sticks
San Diego is the worst offensive squad in baseball at the moment. The Padres rank dead last in scoring at 2.6 runs per game, last in team OBP at .268 and 29th in homers with 16. They've also been held to a total of nine runs over their last five games. How the Pads have won 14 games is almost amazing.    

San Diego also owns a pathetic .257 team OBP against right-handed pitching this season.

Kansas City, meanwhile, hasn't been much better with the bats, ranking 23rd in scoring at 3.9 RPG, 23rd in team OBP at .305 and dead last in homers with just 12. That OBP drops to .287 vs. left-handed pitching.

The KC lineup might be short one key bat in this series, playing in a National League park, without the DH. Bettors might want to check the lineup cards before playing these games.                                        


Royals-Padres Betting Trends
San Diego, with its good-pitch/no-hit combo, has trended toward the UNDERS this season by a lopsided 22-7 margin. Also, the totals have leaned toward the UNDERS 11-3 in games played at Petco Park this year.             

The Royals are having problems of their own scoring, but because their pitching has allowed 33 runs over their last four games they've played four OVERS in a row.   

The Padres are four games under .500 overall this season, seven games under .500 (10-17) against right-handed starting pitchers.

KC is 3-4 this season against lefties.


Injury Update
San Diego is playing without both 3B Chase Headley (calf) and OF Carlos Quentin (knee). No doubt, their absences are being felt.

Free Pick for Monday's Game
The total on this game sat at 6.5 as of this writing, and we were surprised it wasn't lower. How these teams are going to score seven runs is beyond us. So we'll go with the UNDER 6.5 runs (-105) offered at 5Dimes for our free pick on Monday's game.

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