Kansas City swept Baltimore out of the American League Championship Series last fall & grabbed Game 1 this series Monday night. This capper will roll with the Roylas for Game 2 Tuesday.
Orioles-Royals Tuesday Odds
As of this writing the best price we could find on Kansas City with lefty Danny Duffy was the -136 at BetOnline, while Baltimore and Miguel Gonzalez were getting +129 at Heritage. Also, while most of Tuesday's MLB betting market opened the total on this game at eight runs, many shops then dropped that figure to 7.5 in the early betting.
KC took the opener of this series Monday night 8-3, thanks in large part to a seven-run sixth inning. So the Royals have won three games in a row and 13 of their last 17, while Baltimore, trying to stay alive in the AL playoff picture, has suddenly lost five in a row, scoring a total of just 13 runs in the process.
At 76-48 Kansas City now leads the AL Central by 13 games over second-place Minnesota, and sits seven games up on the Yankees in the race for the best record in the American League.
Meanwhile, at 62-62 the Orioles trail division-leading New York by seven games in the AL East, and Texas by 2.5 games in the battle for the second American League wild-card spot.
This series is the first meeting between these teams this season; last year the Royals took the season series from the Orioles four games to three, then swept the O's in four games in the ALCS.
Duffy (6-6, 4.18), by our strict standards, is just seven-for-19 on quality starts this season, running a little hot/cold as of late. Last Thursday he allowed four runs in five innings against Boston; just before that he held the Angels to one run through six innings; but just before that he couldn't get out of the fourth inning against the White Sox, giving up three runs. So over his last three starts he's allowed eight runs through 14 1/3 innings. On the season Duffy has given up 105 hits through 103 innings, walked 40, which is too many for that number of innings, and struck out 61, which ain't enough.
Still, Kansas City is 12-7 in Duffy's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER by a 12-7 margin.
In his one start against Baltimore last year Duffy tossed seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball in a 1-0 Royals victory.
Gonzalez (9-9, 4.73) is just eight-for-23 on quality starts, and just one for his last five. Last Thursday he got bombed for seven runs in five innings by Minnesota, and over his last five outings he's been tagged for 22 runs through 25 1/3 innings. On the season Gonzalez has allowed 134 hits, including 23 homers, through 131 innings, walked 43 and struck out 102.
The Orioles are 12-11 in Gonzo's starts, with the OVERS going 12-11.
Last year Gonzalez started twice against KC, including once in the ALCS, allowing six runs – four earned – through 11 2/3 innings; Baltimore lost both those games, although one came by a score of 2-1.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
Baltimore ranks ninth in the Bigs this season against left-handed pitching with a .262 team batting average, but only 25th with a .306 team on-base percentage.
Kansas City, on the other hand, ranks No. 1 against right-handed pitching with a .272 team BA and second with a .325 team OBP.
We'll give the edge with the sticks to the Royals.
Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Kauffman Stadium this season are 31-27 on the UNDERS, averaging 8.1 runs per.
Baltimore is down a key stick, after placing shortstop JJ Hardy on the DL with a pulled groin.
Kansas City, meanwhile, is still playing without OF Alex Gordon, but they've done a very nice job of forging on without him. And they could get Gordon back in a week or so.
O's-Royals Tuesday Free Picks
Kansas City just keeps rolling along, while Baltimore is faltering. We like the Royals for tonight. Also, we rank both these bullpens among the top five in baseball, so we're thinking UNDER.