Royals vs. Astros MLB Picks: How to Bet the ML & Total Today

Darin Zank

Sunday, July 26, 2015 11:47 AM GMT

Sunday, Jul. 26, 2015 11:47 AM GMT

The Astros and Royals play a rubber match Sunday, and on paper the pitching match-up clearly favors Houston. Do we bet Dallas Keuchel for a repeat of his last performance?

Astros-Royals Sunday Betting Odds
As of early Sunday AM the best MLB odds we could find on Houston with Dallas Keuchel was the -119 offered at Heritage, while KC and Yordano Ventura were getting +111 at Pinnacle. And every book on the board listed a total of 7.5 runs on today's game, with most of the grease sliding toward the UNDER.

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The Situation
These teams have split the first two games of this series, following Kansas City's 2-1 extra-innings victory Saturday.

So the Royals are 6-4 since the All-Star break, while the loss ended a five-game winning streak for Houston.

At 58-38 KC still owns the best record in the American League, and a 6.5-game lead in the AL Central over second-place Minnesota.

At 55-44 Houston is tied for the lead in the AL West with Anaheim.

The Astros had taken the first four games of this season series, until Saturday. Also, the UNDERS are 3-1-1 in this series this season.

 

Sunday's Starters
Ventura (4-7, 5.19), back from a very quick trip to the Minors, is just four-for-14 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last four. Monday he got tapped for six runs and 10 hits in just four innings against Pittsburgh, and over his last four starts he's allowed 15 runs in 15 innings. For the season Ventura has allowed 78 hits through 76 innings, walked 25 and struck out 65.

Kansas City, a team that's 20 games over .500 overall, is just 5-9 in Ventura's starts, with the totals going 6-7.

Ventura started twice last year against Houston; in the first encounter he held the Astros to one earned run through seven innings of a 4-2 Royals victory; but in the second start he got nicked for five runs in less than three innings of a 9-2 KC loss.

Keuchel (12-4, 2.12) is 14-for-20 on quality starts, and four for his last five. Last Sunday he tamed Texas to the tune of seven scoreless, two-hit innings, walking none while whiffing 13, and over his last five starts he's allowed just six runs through 37 innings. On the season Keuchel has allowed 106 hits through 144 innings, walked 34 and struck out 127.

The Astros are 14-6 in Keuchel's starts, with the totals leaning UNDER 11-9.

Over three career starts against KC, including a wonderful outing back in June, Keuchel has allowed six runs through 20 2/3 innings; Houston won two of those games.

 

Sunday's Batting Splits
Houston ranks 23rd in the Majors this season against right-handed pitching with a .245 team batting average, and 21st with a .309 team on-base percentage.

Meanwhile, Kansas City ranks fourth against left-handed pitching with a .270 BA and ninth with a .322 team OBP.

 

Ballpark Totals Factor
Games played at Kauffman Stadium this season are 25-21 on the UNDERS, averaging 7.9 runs per.

 

Astros-Royals Sunday Free Picks
Keuchel owns a solid advantage in the pitching match-up, while Kansas City owns an edge with the bats. But in situations like this we usually go with the better pitching, and will do so here. Also, these teams own two of the best bullpens in baseball at the moment, so we're thinking UNDER.

MLB Picks: Houston -119 at Heritage and UNDER 7.5 runs (-120) at 5Dimes

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