With the Astros needing one more game to move to the ALCS it seems they are the easy pick to knockout the Royals. I'm going against the public though and taking the Royals to win.
MLB odds makers have come out making Houston a solid -135 favorite, putting the Royals at about +125. That is the number across the board but for one of my MLB picks today I'm going to take the value with Kansas City. This is a team that is been tough spots before and I expect them to respond well to the pressure. I expect this line to move see you might want to wait until first pitch to get better value on the Royals, right now at Bookmaker they are at +125.
Kansas City Royals
Yordano Ventura gets the start for Kansas City and comes in with a 4.08 ERA, 1.30 whip, 156 strikeouts, and a 13-8 record. He did not pitch well in the first game of the series as the Astros got to him early producing three earned runs off of four hits in just two innings against him. After the rain delay in the first game he did not come back to pitch, but I expect him to pitch well today. After that poor performance I think this puts him in a good bounce back spot today and he has the kind of stuff to keep the Astros in check. Despite the bad performance he should come in with a lot of confidence having pitched well against the Astros earlier this season allowing just one earned run off a six hits in seven innings. I think he responds well to the pressure today.
At the plate this season Kansas City ranked seventh in runs scored per game at 4.46, 10th in OPS at .734, and second in batting average hitting .268 as a team. Statistically they don't hit as well away from Kansas City but they still have a formidable lineup. They struggled against Keuchel yesterday but that is not much a surprise against the possible Cy Young winner. Today I think they have a better matchup and should have some good quality at-bats.
Lance McCullers takes the mound for the Astros and comes in with a 3.22 ERA, 1.19 whip, 129 strikeouts, and a 6-7 record. In his one appearance against the Royals this season he was outstanding allowing just one earned run off of four hits in seven innings. The rookie has earned the start and has pitched well all season for Houston, but I have a difficult time believing he's going to be as dominant as he was the first time against them.
Offensively Houston ranks eighth in the major leagues in runs scored per game at 4.40, fifth in OPS at .745, and 26th in batting average hitting .248 as a team. They had some clutch at-bats yesterday producing eight hits and four runs beating Kansas City. This is a high pressure spot today though and I'm curious how relaxed they're going to be at the plate. Knowing they already had success against Ventura should have them feeling confident, but I think maybe a little bit overconfident.
Value, this is what this game comes down for me. For one of your MLB picks you might want to take a look at the value on Kansas City in this spot. Don't forget this is a team that was one of the best this season, if not the best, in the American League. I don't expect them to come into this game and just hand the Astros a ticket to the American League championship. The value is on Kansas City in my opinion so I will back them on the plus money line win or lose.
MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals +123 at 5Dimes