Hopefully, that means we'll see some good baseball when the teams meet for a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium this weekend, starting Friday night (8:10 pm ET).
By: Ron Patrick
The Yankees shoot for a sweep of this series Sunday (2:10 pm ET), after taking Saturday's game by a score of 3-2, providing their financial backers with a win as dogs of around +135 on the MLB betting odds.
With four wins in a row New York sits at 22-13 and owns a one-game lead in the AL East.
Kansas City, with five losses over its last six games, is 18-15, a game and a half out of the lead in the AL Central.
Sunday's MLB Betting Odds
As of Sunday morning most baseball books were listing the Royals with Ervin Santana at around -115 for this series finale, with New York and Hiroki Kuroda getting +105. The total sat at 7.5.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Santana (3-1, 2.36), by our strict standards, is four-for-six on quality starts this season. Most recently he allowed three runs in six innings against the Orioles, while just prior to that he had given up just four ER over four starts, covering 30 innings.
For the season Santana has allowed fewer hits, 39, than innings pitched, 42, walked just six and struck out 35.
Last year, pitching for the Angels, Santana started twice against the Yankees and got pushed around a bit, allowing 10 ER and 11 hits in 11 innings. The Angels lost both those games.
Kuroda (4-2, 2.30) is four-for-seven on quality starts this season, but also four for his last five. Last time out he held the Rockies to two runs through seven innings, and just before that he held the Astros scoreless through seven innings.
On the season Kuroda has allowed fewer hits, 34 than innings pitched, 43, walked 12 and struck out 33.
Last year Kuroda started twice against Kansas City, giving up five ER and 13 hits through 9 2/3 innings. New York lost both of those games.
Let's shoot over to have a look at Sunday's Money Making Picks of the Day~
Our Take on Sunday's Game
We've won by picking the Yankees in the first two games of this series, so why stop now? We'll add New York, with the underdog price, to our list of free MLB picks for Sunday.
Pick: Take the Yanks at the +105 offered at BET 365 .
By: Ron Patrick
New York took the opener of this series Friday night 11-6, banging out 16 hits, including eight of the extra-base variety, with its make-shift lineup.
The Yanks won Friday as +110 dogs on the MLB betting odds, and the game cruised OVER its total of eight.
So the Yankees have won three games in a row, while the Royals have lost four of their last five, heading into the second game of this series Saturday night (7:10 pm ET).
Saturday's MLB Betting Odds
As of Saturday morning the best price we could find on Kansas City with James Shields was the -137 offered at Pinbet, while New York with Andy Pettitte could be gotten at +132 at BetOnline.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
The soon-to-be 41-year-old Pettitte (3-2, 4.06) began this season with four straight quality starts, but over his last two outings, against the Astros and A's, he's been tagged for 10 runs in just 9 1/3 innings.
On the season Pettitte has allowed 51 baserunners (hits + walks) over 37 2/3 innings; the Yankees are 3-3 in his starts.
Pettitte started once last year against Kansas City and got a victory, giving up two ER through seven innings.
Shields is a solid six-for-seven on quality starts this season, and working on a streak of five in a row. Last time out the former Ray held the White Sox scoreless on two hits through eight innings, although KC eventually lost that game 2-1. And just before that he held his former team, Tampa, to two runs through seven innings.
On the season Shields has permitted fewer baserunners, 48, than IP, 50; but because of a lack of run support the Royals are only 3-4 in Shields' starts.
Shields and the Yankees are very familiar with each other; last year, pitching for the Rays, Shields started six times against New York, allowing 25 ER and 41 hits over 37 1/3 innings. Tampa split those six games.
Our Take on Saturday's Game
We like Shields, but his recent track record against the Yankees isn't great. Yes, the New York lineup he'll face tonight will be a little different that the one that gave him trouble last year, but New York seems to have a little mojo working for it. So we'll add the Yanks with the underdog price to our list of free MLB picks for Saturday.
Pick: Take New York at the +132
By: Ron Patrick
At the very least, we'll try to make some money betting this series this weekend.
Friday's Yankees-Royals Betting Odds
As of Friday morning the best price we could find on KC with Wade Davis was the -111 offered at several MLB betting shops, including Heritage, while NY with Phil Hughes could be gotten at +106 at Pinbet.
Also, TheGreek was listing the Royals at -135 MLB betting odds to win this series, with the Yanks getting +115.
Yankees-Royals Series Set-Up
New York just took two of three games in Colorado, winning that series rubber match Thursday 3-1. The Yanks are 3-3 over their last six games, scoring a total of just 14 runs but getting some good pitching.
At 20-13 New York now sits in a three-way tie for first place in the AL East with Boston and Baltimore.
Kansas City, on the other hand, just dropped two of three games in Baltimore, avoiding the sweep with a 6-2 victory Thursday. The Royals had lost three in a row, but that came on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
So at 18-13 Kansas City sits in second place in the AL Central, just a half-game back of division-leading Detroit.
This is the first meeting this season between these two teams. Last year New York took the season series from KC four games to three, with five of those seven games playing UNDER on the totals.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Hughes (1-2, 3.60) has strung together four quality starts in a row. Last time out he put on his best performance of the year, throwing eight innings of four-hit, shut-out ball against Oakland. Over his last four starts he's allowed just six ER through 28 innings.
On the season Hughes has given up 14 ER and 40 hits in 35 innings, walked just seven and struck out 34.
Last year Hughes started twice against Kansas City and picked up two victories, allowing five ER and 11 hits through 12 2/3 innings.
Davis (2-2, 4.75) is just two-for-six on quality starts this season, although KC has managed to win four of his six starts. Last time out Davis held the White Sox to one run through six innings, but just before that he got bopped for eight runs in 4 2/3 innings vs. the Indians.
For the season Davis has allowed 16 ER and 43 hits in 30 1/3 innings, walked 13 and struck out 25.
Last year, pitching out of the Tampa Bay bullpen, Davis made four appearances vs. the Yankees and mowed 'em down, allowing no runs and zero hits through 5 2/3 innings, walking one while striking out 11.
As for the bullpens in this series Kansas City relievers own a 2.88 ERA and have blown four saves, while New York's pen owns a 3.82 ERA but has blown just two saves.
By the Numbers
Playing without Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira and Granderson the Yankees rank 10th in the Majors with a .736 team OPS but only 18th in scoring at 4.2 runs per game.
KC ranks 14th with a .714 team OPS and 15th in scoring at 4.3 RPG.
Stay up on top of the betting game by checking Steven Suarez' Betting Lines Report!
Our Take on Friday's Game
Hughes has been hot, with four straight quality starts, while Davis hasn't been quite as good as KC probably hoped for when they brought him in from Tampa.
Friday's game basically looks like a pick 'em, but a couple of things push us toward the Yankees; on one side, New York seems to be taking to the role of underdog, playing without all of those starts. On the other side, it often seems when a team like the Royals, trying to scratch their way into contention, gets a chance at a big dog like the Yanks, they fall flat. So for Friday we'll add New York to our list of free MLB picks.
Bettors interested in this series should check back at these pages for updates, pitching match-ups and more free picks, for what they're worth, over the next few days.Don't forget to check out Jeff's Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants~