MLB Picks: Snag O/U Value When Tigers Visit Royals at Kauffman Stadium

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, April 19, 2016 12:02 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 19, 2016 12:02 PM UTC

Cabrera and the Tigers head to Kansas City to play the World champion Royals in Game 1 of their 3-game AL Central series. Let’s try to come up with an MLB pick in a close game throughout.

Odds Overview
Detroit Tigers at Kansas City Royals [Wednesday 01:15] (FSN-Detroit, FSN-Kansas City, MLB Extra Innings 9, Directv 663, Directv 672 (US), 7:15 p.m. EDT/4:15 p.m. PDT): The Kansas City Royals send right-hander Yordano Ventura (0-0, 2.45 ERA, 12 Ks) to the mound on Tuesday night at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri to face right-hander Shane Greene (1-0, 2.57 ERA, 7 K’s) and the Detroit Tigers (7-4) in Game 1 of this 3-game AL Central series and the first of a 6-game Homestand for the Royals.

Offshore Oddsmakers have made the host Royals and Ventura serious -153 favorites with the visiting Tigers and Greene priced at +143 as the Road underdogs (at Heritage) with the game’s Total (Runs) opening set at 7½ ('Over' -120, with an 8 being posted at Heritage ('Under' -118). The Run Line odds in this game see host Kansas City -1½ priced at +135 with visitors Detroit getting the Run-and-a-half (+1½) lined at -155 (at The Greek).


Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers (33/1 to win World Series, at Ladbrokes) and Manager Brad Ausmus have gotten off to a decent start, going 7-4 in their first 11 games and an impressive 5-2 on the Road, scoring 58 Runs in the process, the 3rd highest mark in the AL. But the problem for Detroit is where it is, and where it is, is in the AL Central where the Chicago White Sox (8-4) have also gotten off to a very nice (and surprising) 8-4 start and that these World Champion Kansas City Royals (8-4) also started great and they also fondly call the AL Central home.

In their last game on Sunday, Detroit (+375 to win AL Central, at PaddyPower) lost to the Astros in Houston, 5-4, as the hosts won the 3-game series, 2-1 in three very close games (HOU 1-0, DET 5-3, HOU 5-4) with the first two going 'Under' the posted Total and Sunday’s finale eking over by ½ Run a solo HR by the Tigers Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the Top of the 6th. In the 5-3 Loss to the Astros on Sunday, Detroit Manager Ausmus put these nine names on his Lineup Card: 2B Ian Kinsler, LF Justin Upton, 1B Miguel Cabrera, DH Victor Martínez, RF JD Martínez, 3B Nick Castellanos, C Jarrod Saltalamacchia, CF Anthony Gose and SS José Iglesias with Aníbal Sánchez on the Hill.

Saltalamacchia (.808 Slugging Percentage)—released by the Florida Marlins—has been great this year so far and went 2-for-4 with a solo HR while leadoff man Kinsler (.340) was 2-for-4 with a HR and 2 RBI while Upton (0-9, 5 K’s Saturday and Sunday) continued to scuffle at the Plate. Detroit only drew 1 Walk and was Struck Out 10 times by Astros Pitchers, with Houston Starter Mike Fiers (5 K’s) setting the tone for the game and getting the Win despite allowing 3 Tigers HRs (JD Martínez had the other besides Kinsler and Saltalamacchia).


Kansas City Royals
The defending World champion Kansas City Royals (+160 to win AL Central, at Bet365) and Manager Ned Yost have started off 4-1 at Home and 4-3 on the Road, so, just about what one would expect from a team which has reached the L2 World Series. And the team’s 43 RF-35 RA (+8 RD) is also about what Baseball followers could expect at this still infant stage of the 2016 MLB Regular Season.

This is a team that plays as a Team, expect great Pitching from both its Starters and Relievers, plays great Defense and tries not to beat themselves. And this Recipe has worked wonderfully for Yost and Royals General Manager Dayton Moore and if this team has to beat you 3-2 every night, well that’s what they’ll try to do. It may be Small-Ball in a way, but it’s also Smart-Ball. And the scores of the Royals (14/1 to win World Series, Ladbrokes) L6 games reflect the types of games they’re usually involved in: OAK 3-2, OAK 5-2, KC 4-2, KC 6-2 (at Houston).

In Sunday’s 3-2 Loss at Oakland, Kansas City Manager had a Starting Lineup of: SS Alcides Escobar, 3B Mike Moustakas, CF Lorenzo Cain, 1B Eric Hosmer, DH Kendrys Morales, LF Alex Gordon, C Salvador Pérez, RF Reymond Fuentes and 2B Christian Colón with right-hander Kris Medlen getting the start and pitching pretty well (6.1 IP, 2 Hits, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 Ks) although Oakland is no Offensive juggernaut and hasn’t been since the juiced-up Bash Brothers were making deposits over the Left Field wall in Oakland.

But the Royals could only manage 6 Hits and were 1-for-7 with RISP (Runners in scoring Position) off A’s pitchers and starter Chris Bassitt (5 Hits allowed) in their second straight Loss at Oakland. Moustakas, who has now homered in 4 of his L8 games, delivered a solo HR in the setback for the Royals.


Series Trends, Weather Forecast, Pitchers Report Card, Analysis and Trend-Based, Recent History, and MLB pick
The Weather forecast for Kansas City (Missouri) tomorrow afternoon-evening calls for Cloudy conditions, Overcast Skies with possible Rain and a High of 73°, so about what we’d expect at Kauffman Stadium in mid-April. The Umpire Rotation was not out at publishing time (Monday afternoon) as MLB likes to keep its Umpire information pretty close to the vest up until game day. In the L10 meetings in this AL Central series, the two teams are split at 5-5 with the Royals 4-2 in the 6 games played here in Kansas City, Kansas City here I come.

The 'Over' has been on an absolute tear in this series, W7 in a row with Total Runs scored of 13, 11, 9, 22, 13, 11, and 21, so exactly 100 Runs just a tidy little average of 14.3 rpg over those 7 'Overs' ('Over' 8-2 L10). So even with these two probable Starters, backing the 'Under' will take some onions. Why so many 'Overs'? Maybe divisional rival Detroit is a team the Royals think they can (or have to) score Runs against, while the Tigers Batting Lineup always looks like (on paper at least) a team that can go 'Over' the Total on a nightly basis themselves.

With Kinsler getting on and doing his thing at the top of the order, Cabrera as deadly as they come, Saltalamacchia showing he likes his new team and surroundings and the two Martínezes being two of the most underrated players in the AL, the Tigers are a force to be reckoned with and these two teams should fight all season for the AL Central title with the White Sox and Cleveland Indians maybe making some noise before falling closer back to the .500 mark after 162 games.

Kansas City Starter Ventura (4-0, 3.86 ERA, 15 BB in 32.2 IP vs Tigers Lifetime) has been solid as expected to start the season, but has 0 Wins to show for it, despite allowing just 3 Runs in 11 IP. This is what happens when your team has trouble scoring Runs.

So with the Royals Starters allowing 3 or less Runs in 10 of their first 12 games, the 'Under' would seem to be a look but the way this series has trended to the 'Over' lately and seen so many runs in the L7 games and with the Total opening at 7½, recommending the 'Under' is impossible even with Greene doing pretty well in his two career Starts against the Tigers, allowing just 1 ER in 13 innings.

With Ventura pitching so well—although he allowed 9 BBs in his 2 Starts—yet hungry for his first W and the team coming Home for a 6-game Homestand and Greene fantastic against Detroit, it’s easy to see why MLB odds boards have put a 7½ up here, but the thought here is that left-handed hitters Victor Martínez (.308, 2 HRs in 13 ABs vs Ventura) and JD Martínez (.364 in 11 ABs) could do some minor damage against righty Ventura with Kinsler (.365, 4 RBIs vs Ventura), Cabrera (.286 vs. Ventura) and the suddenly threatening Saltalamacchia also chipping in for the visitors in a game the Tigers (5-2 Road) can definitely win despite the high line for Hosmer (2-for-5 lifetime vs Greene) and the host Royals.

This game could start slow and creep, but trickle over once the Bullpens come in and the game is on the line. Expect a close game and this is an AL game where the Run Line market should probably be avoided.

In Game 2 on Wednesday, Kansas City—which started the season off 8-2 before hitting this mini 2-game Losing Streak against the A’s—is scheduled to send lefty Ian Kennedy (2-0, 0.60) ERA to the Bump against Detroit right-hander Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 0.00 ERA) while on Thursday in Game 3 in Kansas City, right-hander Edinson Volquez (2-0, 2.04) is slated to get the pill for the Royals with righty Mike Pelfrey (0-2, 6.52 ERA) the listed Probable for the Tigers.


Predicted Final Score: Tigers 5 Royals 3
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Free MLB Pick: 'Over' 7½ -120
Best Line Offered: at Sportsbetting


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