This Dog of the Day comes with the clearly superior starter & a team who was embarrassed out of the Break. Find inside this betting preview the best way to play Pirates vs. Royals.
Pittsburgh Pirates (Burnett) vs. KC Royals (Ventura) (-130) 8:10 ET
The Pittsburgh Pirates travel to KC for the first of a 3-game early week set. After defeating St. Louis in the last 3 games prior to the All Star Break, Pittsburgh moved to within 2 ½ games of the Cards for 1st place in the NL Central. But, the Bucs gave it all back in the just completed lost weekend in Milwaukee, when they took the 0-3 collar, being outscored 18-7. That brings them with great focus, as they begin this week’s play against a respected KC team, who took 3 of 4 at Chicago White Sox to open the 2nd half of the season. Those results solidify Pittsburgh in the role of the hunter as they trail St. Louis by 4 ½ games, while KC is in the role of the hunted, now holding a 6-game lead on the Minnesota Twins.
The Pirates had been on quite a roll, as they entered the All Star Break on a 35-13 run. After the weekend debacle in Milwaukee, the Pirates have seeded their OPS pitching title to Oakland. Behind AJ Burnett, look for the Pirates to return to their winning ways tonight. At 38 years old, Burnett is having his best season ever with a 2.11 ERA. In his most recent 7 starts, Burnett has a 1.99 ERA. Burnett also has a strong history vs. the Royals with a record of 3-1 and 1.83 ERA in his last 6 starts against Kansas City. Not helping the Pittsburgh cause is the fact they lost shortstop, Jordy Mercer, to a leg injury after a collision at 2nd base.
Kansas City maintained their pre-Break momentum. Their 3-1weekend against the White Sox boosted the KC streak to 10-2 of late. Also impressive is the Royals’ 30-16 home record. KC completed the weekend sweep of CWS by pounding out 30 hits Saturday and Sunday. They have a .315 BA in their 10-2 run. Tonight, KC sends Ventura to the mound. He has lasted only 11 innings in his previous 3 starts. His most recent start saw him get an 8-3 home victory over Tampa Bay on July 9th. In that game, he pitched for the first time in almost a month, following time on the DL due to numbness in his hand caused by an elbow issue. In that contest, Ventura allowed 3 runs, 4 hits and 3 walks in 5 IP … by his own admission, “I’m not 100%.”
Must like the concept of the Pittsburgh Pirates in the role of hunter vs. the KC Royals, who have a comfortable 6-game divisional lead! In addition, there can be little doubt that Pittsburgh has the better of it on the mound with veteran Burnett, having the best season of his career, against Royals’ fire-baller, Ventura, who is far from 100%. Let’s give the nod to the Pirates as the Dog of the Day for Monday's MLB picks.
MLB Pick: Take Pittsburgh Pirates at 5Dimes