Royals Hit Road with Win Over Sliding Rangers

danny duffy royals

Willie Bee

Thursday, April 20, 2017 1:14 PM GMT

Texas just came off a tough road trip out west, while Kansas City is starting one through the heartland. Find out who gets our nod with a free MLB pick in their series opener Thursday in Arlington.

MLB Season Record: 4-11 (-7.50)

What's this, the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers are both in last place of their divisions as they prepare for a 4-game series in Arlington? Yes, it's true, but there's a catch: In the congested AL Central, the Royals are both last and knotted in a 4-way tie for second at 7-7.

Thursday's lid-lifter gets underway at 8:05 PM (ET) with a mound duel between Danny Duffy and Andrew Cashner. It's close to a pick 'em with KC priced -108 on the morning line at 5Dimes with 9 for the total.

The Royals just wrapped up an 8-game homestand by splitting a mini-series with the Giants, eking one out against Madison Bumgarner on Wednesday as +115 underdogs on the MLB odds. Texas returns home following a 3-6 western swing through Anaheim, Seattle and Oakland to sit 5-10 and 5 games back in the basement of the AL West.

 

Texas Fans Get Their 1st Look At Cashner

Picking up where he left off last year, Duffy has earned the title of Royals ace with three very strong efforts to start 2017. The 28-year-old southpaw is coming off seven innings of 1-run ball against the Angels and sports a 2.08 ERA in a pair of road starts at Minnesota and Houston, KC splitting those contests. Duffy beat the Rangers the only time he faced them a season ago, working into the seventh with their only run coming on a Rougned Odor homer.

Cashner came off his early DL stint this past weekend in Seattle, showing some expected first-game jitters in a 5-0 loss to the Mariners. The former TCU standout walked three and allowed four runs (3 earned) before being pulled in the sixth having delivered 85 pitches. Tonight will another first for the big right-hander as he works on the Arlington mound for the first time, and he'll have to work on keeping the ball inside the hitter-friendly park after serving up 19 HRs in 132 frames last season. It's his third career start vs. the Royals, and Cashner lost the previous two despite a nice 2.70 ERA.

 

Series Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

It has been 23 years since the Royals and Rangers were division foes, but the rivalry remains both a good one and a close one since the second coming of the Senators arrived in the Lone Star State. Kansas City holds a very slight 255-253 advantage from 1972 to present, Texas closing that gap by winning six of seven clashes a season ago. That included a 4-game sweep of the Royals in Arlington, this year marking the third straight fixture the clubs play four on this diamond. Three of the four in 2016 finished 'under' after totals ran 3-1 'over' in 2015.

A rather warm, muggy evening is in store, temps still in the low 80s at game time with an 8-12 mph SSE breeze (in from right-center). This ballpark can humble any pitcher, but for my free baseball pick, I'm playing KC with Duffy on the hill.

Free MLB Pick: Royals -108Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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