It's no surprise to see the Blue Jays favored. They're listed in the range of -130 to as high as -145. You can find the Royals as +125 underdogs at a majority of the best betting sites. Tonight's O/U is holding firm at nine runs.
Kansas City Royals (Vargas)
Times have been tough for the Royals, so last night's win was very much welcome. Over their previous 14 games, Kansas City has gone 5-9, having lost three consecutive series to the White Sox, Angels and Astros. They've fallen to 25-29 overall, which puts them 6.5 games back of Detroit in the AL Central. Coming in to tonight, the Royals have the tenth most quality starts (30) in the majors and will want to add to that tally behind Jason Vargas. The left-hander was practically untouchable at the start of the season, but he's cooled off, as he now sits at 4-2 with a 3.55 ERA on the year. Despite some control issues, Vargas was sharp in his most recent start. He held the Angels to three hits and only one earned run in 6 and 1/3 innings, but that still wasn't enough for him to get a winning decision as Kansas City fell 4-3. It certainly wouldn't hurt if the Royals stepped it up a notch offensively. They're #23 in runs scored and the only regular hitting over .300 overall is Loreno Cain.
Toronto Blue Jays (Happ)
What if we told you the Blue Jays had the league's best offense?
They're ranked first in the MLB in runs scored (274) through their first 55 games. Toronto comes in ranked second in slugging (.451), with Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Melky Cabrera, Juan Francisco, Colby Rasmus and Brett Lawrie all having hit at least eight homers so far. The hot hitting has helped the Blue Jays win nine of their last 10, and 12 of their past 13. They're in the top spot in the AL East, are already 2.5 games up on the Yankees, and have been solid both at home (16-12) and on the road (16-11).
For tonight, Toronto would love to see J.A. Happ mimic his performance from five days ago. He baffled Oakland, holding them to four hits without giving up a run over seven innings of work. Happ struck out seven and walked three, pushing his overall numbers to 4-1 with a 3.34 ERA. The left-hander has done quite well at home so far in 2014, going 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA over four starts. Happ has yet to face Kansas City this season.
We reckon it's about a wash in the pitching matchup with these two southpaws going at it, so we've got to look to the offenses and bullpens when making our recommended MLB picks. We know that Toronto has been vastly superior at putting runs on the board. They've hit .264 as a team, with Bautista (.420, 6 HR, 11 RBI in 50 at bats) absolutely crushing the ball, against lefties so far this season. This is a team that's batting .315 over the last seven days and we're not ready to go against that kind of momentum at the plate. As long as Happ can hang in there, we think the Blue Jays will take care of business at home.
My Free MLB Pick: Blue Jays -130