Texas has taken two of the first three games of this series, winning twice as underdogs on the betting line. The Rangers are lined as home dogs again for Thursday afternoon's series finale.
Royals vs. Rangers Game 4
By: Ron Patrick
Royals-Rangers Game 4 Betting Odds
As of early Thursday AM most MLB betting odds were listing Kansas City and Jeremy Guthrie at around -125 over
Texas and Ross Detwiler, with an OVER/UNDER of nine runs. The Royals could also be found getting around +135 on the run line.
Game 3 Recap
Texas grabbed an early 4-0 lead with help from homers from Shin-Soo Choo and Prince Fielder, and Yovani Gallardo came up with a quality outing as the Rangers hung on for a 5-2 victory. Texas won as a +115 betting underdog Wednesday, and the game stayed UNDER a total of eight runs.
The Rangers are now 7-3 over their last 10 games.
Gallardo allowed just two runs on six hits and a walk through seven innings for his second quality start of this season.
Kansas City starter Yordano Ventura gave up four runs through the first two innings Wednesday night, then gave up just one more run over the next five innings. Still, he's now allowed 14 runs over his last three outings.
Detwiler is just one-for-six on quality starts for his new team this season. Ten days ago he held Houston to one run through seven innings, but he followed that up by getting nicked for five runs in four innings last Saturday by Tampa Bay. On the season Detwiler has allowed 39 hits, including seven homers, in just 28 2/3 innings, while compiling a very mediocre K/BB ratio of 19/14; Texas is just 1-5 in Detwiler's starts, with the totals leaning OVER by a 3-2-1 margin.
This will be Detwiler's first-ever start against Kansas City, which may help him today, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Guthrie is also just one-for-six on quality starts this season, but is coming off his best outing so far, after holding Detroit to two runs through 7 1/3 innings last Saturday. Just before that those same Tigers tagged Guthrie for six runs in six innings. On the season Guthrie has allowed 44 hits in 36 1/3 innings, compiling a pedestrian K/BB ratio of 14/11; Kansas City is 4-2 in Guthrie's starts, with the totals leaning OVER 4-2.
Guthrie started twice against Texas last year, and was tough, allowing just two runs and 13 hits through 15 innings; the Royals won both those games.
Thursday's Batting Splits
Kansas City ranks fourth in the Majors with a .358 team OBP against left-handed pitching this season.
Texas ranks 21st with a .305 OBP against righties this year.
Game 4 Free Picks
We'll give Guthrie a short edge in the pitching match-up, and KC gets the check-mark with the sticks. So we like the Royals to salvage a split of this series today. Also, these two starters are a combined 7-4 on the totals this season, so we're thinking OVER for our MLB pick.
Free MLB Picks: Kansas City -118 and OVER 8.5 runs (-120) at GT Bets
Royals vs. Rangers Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
Game 3 Betting Odds
In the early betting most of the MLB betting market was listing Kansas City and Yordano Ventura at around -115 over Texas and Yovani Gallardo, with a total of eight runs. The Royals could also be found getting upwards of +145 giving the run and a half on the run line.
Game 2 Recap
Alex Gordon led off the top of the tenth inning with a homer down the right-field line, giving Kansas City a 7-6 victory Tuesday night. The Royals won as -130 favorites on Tuesday's MLB betting odds, and the game played OVER its total of nine runs.
Texas led 1-0 after one inning Tuesday; KC promptly tied it with a run in the second. The Rangers took a 3-1 lead with single runs in the third and fifth, but the Royals took a 4-3 lead with three in the top of the sixth. Texas then tied it with a run in the bottom of the sixth; KC took a 5-4 lead in the seventh; but the Rangers tied it with a run in the bottom of the seventh. The Royals then took a 6-5 lead with a run in the top of the ninth, but Texas tied it on Adrian Beltre's two-out, two-strike base hit in the bottom of the ninth. Gordon then provided the final heroics a few moments later.
Rangers starter Nick Martinez allowed three ER through 6 1/3 innings of work, while KC's Edinson Volquez gave up four ER through five innings. It was the first time this year Texas lost a game Martinez started.
Royals closer Greg Holland blew the save in the ninth, but threw a perfect 10th to secure the victory.
Gallardo, by our tough standards, is just one-for-seven on quality starts for his new team this season. Last Friday he gave up three earned runs in 5 1/3 innings against Tampa, the fourth straight start he'd allowed exactly three ER. For the season Gallardo has permitted 18 ER and 53 base-runners through 38 2/3 innings; Texas is just 2-5 in Gallardo's starts, with the totals splitting 3-3-1.
Gallardo hasn't started against Kansas City since 2007, back when he was a young Milwaukee Brewer.
Ventura is only two-for-six on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last two. Last Friday he gave up four runs in six innings against Detroit, and just before that he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings against Cleveland. On the season Ventura has allowed 19 ER and 44 base-runners through 33 1/3 innings; KC is 3-3 in Ventura's starts, with the totals leaning OVER 4-2.
Last year, as a rookie, Ventura started twice against Texas, allowing just three ER and nine hits, although he also walked seven, through 12 1/3 innings; the Royals won both those games.
Wednesday's Batting Splits
Kansas City ranks fourth in the Majors with a .331 team OBP and sixth in team slugging percentage at .430 against right-handed pitching this season.
Texas ranks 22nd in OBP at .302 and 28th in slugging percentage at .332 against righties this year.
Game 3 Free Picks
The pitching match-up looks to be about a wash, but KC gets the edge with the sticks. So we like the Royals. Also, with the Rangers' struggles against right-handed pitching, and KC's top-ranked bullpen, we're thinking UNDER as our MLB pick.
Royals vs. Rangers Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
Royals-Rangers Game 2 Betting Odds
Most of Tuesday's MLB betting odds opened Kansas City and Edinson Volquez at around -120 over Texas with Nick Martinez, with a total of 8.5 runs. In the early betting many books then dropped that price about a nickel, to around -115, and the total to eight.
Game 1 Recap
Texas put up a four spot in the bottom of the second inning Tuesday night, propelling it to an 8-2 victory. The Rangers won as +125 home dogs on Monday's MLB betting line, and the game played OVER a total of 7.5.
We backed KC on the run line Monday night, so while we lost our bet, we also saved ourselves 35 bucks by eschewing the dime line.
Kansas City starter Danny Duffy walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the second, then gave up a ringing double to No. 9 hitter Delino DeShields, spelling doom for the Royals. By the time he left the game with two outs in the fourth inning Duffy had allowed six runs on five hits and six walks. He's now 0 for his last two on quality starts, giving up 10 runs over his last 4 2/3 innings.
Texas starter Colby Lewis held KC to one run and three hits through seven innings; he's now three for his last three on quality starts, allowing just two runs over his last 21 innings.
Texas has now won six of its last eight games, while the Royals are only 4-5 over their last nine contests.
Martinez is five-for-six on quality starts this season, but coming off his worst outing so far, after he allowed three runs and six hits in less than five innings against Tampa last Thursday. But prior to that he had allowed just three ER through his first five starts of this season. On the year Martinez has allowed just six ER and 43 base-runners through 36 2/3 innings, and has yet to give up a gopher ball. Texas, a team that's four games under .500 overall, is 6-0 in games Martinez has started, while the totals have skewed toward the OVERS by a 5-1 margin, mostly thanks to some great run support by the Ranger bats.
This will be Martinez' first-ever start against Kansas City.
Volquez, who began his ML career as a Ranger, is four-for-six on quality starts this season. Last Thursday he gave up three runs in three innings against Cleveland, walking six, then left the game with a blister. But just prior to that he held Detroit to two runs through six innings. On the season Volquez has allowed 11 ER and 40 base-runners through 37 1/3 innings; KC is 3-3 in games Volquez has started, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 3-1-2 margin.
Volquez' only career start against Texas came back in 2012.
Tuesday's Batting Splits
Kansas City owns a .332 team OBP and a .422 slugging percentage against right-handed pitching this season.
Texas owns a .297 OBP and a .323 slugging percentage against righties.
Game 2 Free Picks
We whiffed with a play on KC on the run line Monday night, but in giving the Royals the edge with the sticks we like them to bounce back Tuesday night. Also, neither lineup is very familiar with tonight's starting pitchers, so we're thinking UNDER on the total as our MLB pick.
Free MLB Picks: Kansas City -115 and UNDER eight runs (-110) at WagerWeb
Monday's Series Opener
By: Ron Patrick
Royals-Rangers Game 1 Betting Odds
As of Monday morning most of the MLB betting odds market was listing Kansas City and Danny Duffy at around –115 over Texas with Colby Lewis, the total proffered at 8.5 runs.
Also, Bovada was chalking the Royals at -160 to win this series, based on the first three games, with the Rangers getting +130 as home dogs.
Kansas City just took two of three games from AL Central rival Detroit in Detroit over the weekend, losing Friday 6-5 but winning Saturday 6-2 and late Sunday night 2-1. The rubber match went to the bottom of the ninth tied at 1-1, then experienced a 100-minute rain delay, before the Royals then won it with a run in the top of the tenth.
Just before that KC took two of three games last week from Cleveland; just before that the Royals split four games with the Tigers; and just before that they took two of three from the Indians. So Kansas City is 3-0-1 in its last four series.
At 20-11 KC leads the AL Central by a game and a half over the second-place Tigers.
Texas, meanwhile, just split four games at Tampa over the weekend, winning Thursday 5-4, losing Friday 8-2 and Saturday 7-2 but winning Sunday 2-1. Just before that the Rangers swept three games from Houston. Still, Texas has won just one series this season.
At 13-18 the Rangers sits in fourth place in the AL West, 6.5 games behind first-place Houston.
This is the first meeting this season between these former division rivals; last year Kansas City took five of six games from Texas, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 4-0-2 margin.
Lewis is three-for-six on quality starts this season, with two in a row. Last Wednesday he held Houston to one run through eight innings, and just before that he held Oakland scoreless through six innings. For the season Lewis has allowed 11 earned runs and 41 base-runners (hits + walks) through 38 innings; Texas is 2-4 in Lewis' starts, with the totals splitting 3-3.
Lewis started twice against the Royals last year, giving up eight runs and 15 hits in 13 innings; the Rangers lost both those games.
Duffy is just one-for-six on quality starts this year. He's pitched a little better than that ratio might indicate, but he's also coming off a rough outing in which he gave up four runs in just one-plus innings of work last Wednesday against Cleveland. Prior to that, though, he had allowed just three ER over his previous three starts. On the season Duffy has allowed 15 ER and 46 base-runners through 29 2/3 innings; KC is 4-2 in Duffy's starts, with the totals going 4-2.
Duffy hasn't started against Texas since his rookie season of 2011.
The Kansas City bullpen leads the Majors with a 1.45 ERA, with 12 saves in 15 chances.
The Texas pen, on the other hand, ranks 25th with a 4.55 ERA, with more blown saves, six, than converted saves, five.
Monday's Batting Splits
Kansas City ranks fourth in the Majors with a .334 team OBP against right-handed pitching this season, sixth with a .428 team slugging percentage.
Texas ranks 19th with a .316 OBP against left-handed pitching, and ninth with a .418 slugging percentage.
Kansas City 3B Mike Moustakas missed the weekend series in Detroit because of a non-injury situation, but is expected to return to the lineup tonight.
Totals Betting Trends
Rangers home games are 5-5-2 on the totals this season, as games played at the place they now call Globe Life Park have averaged 8.7 runs per.
Game 1 Free Picks
KC might have Mo on its side after taking the series in Detroit, and we expect a bounce-back effort from Duffy, after last week's disaster. And because we like to gamble in search of advantageous pricing we'll take the visitors on the run line tonight as our MLB pick. Also, with a little help from the Texas bullpen we're thinking this game should play OVER.
Free MLB Picks: Kansas City +135 on the run line at BetDSI and OVER eight runs (+100) at GTBets.