Top-Notch Royals Undervalued by MLB Odds vs. Yankees

Doug Upstone

Tuesday, May 26, 2015 1:18 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 26, 2015 1:18 PM UTC

At sportsbooks, Kansas City and the New York Yankees have been attracting a great deal of action, just for completely different reasons when perusing through the betting odds.

The Royals have had one the best records in baseball since the opening week and have been in double digits for profit a good portion of the season, being one of the best choices for MLB picks all season. The Yankees have enter this contest having lost 10 of 12 and baseball handicappers have continually listed New York as a top – play against – wager for sports picks.

Here is look at the middle game of this series.


Kansas City Crushing Foes
The Royals record is not only top notch but it has been the manner in which they have performed. Kansas City has the top run differential in the AL at +52 and they are 12-6 in games decided by four or more runs and 23-13 in all contests determined by two or more runs.

The offense is second overall in runs scored at 4.8 per game and it has been consistent ranking in the Top virtually the entire season in batting average, OBP and OPS.

While the starting pitching is slightly above average, the guys in the bullpen have no peers, ranked as the top pen in the game. Once again unless opposing teams have a lead by the seventh inning, the chances of defeating the Royals late are slim.


New York Roster is Old and Ordinary
When the  MLB odds favored Yankees were scoring a lot of runs in building a nice lead in the AL East, it was largely based on Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner being on base and Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez driving them in either with hits or home runs. The rest of the team was largely chipping in with homers and it reminded many of the Bronx Bombers days.

But manager Joe Girardi has one of the oldest collections of everyday players and that usually leads to lower batting averages and on-base percentages. As the season has worn on this is what has caught up to the Yankees. Yesterday’s rare 14-run outburst raised New York was 11th in team batting average to eighth in the AL and ninth to seventh in OBP, with only Gardner (.285 BA) and A-Rod (.262) hitting above .255, made worse with Ellsbury out of the lineup and no definitive time for his return from a knee injury.

With Teixeira (.236), A-Rod, Carlos Beltran (.234), Brian McCann (.235) and Chase Headley (.255) all swinging slow bats, with the Yankees starting pitching below average without Masahiro Tanaka, the Yanks look very much like a .500 club.


Pitching Matchup – Vargas vs. Warren
With Danny Duffy on the DL, Jason Vargas (3-1, 5.26 ERA) will fill in. Vargas threw in a simulated game this past Friday and had no issues relating to his elbow. The right-hander throws in the upper 80’s with his fastball and works both sides of the plate. He generally tosses his curve for strikes and his change in scout’s language is “deluxe”. If he gets his pitches up, he is hit. Vargas has not faced New York in two seasons and is 0-4 with 6.88 ERA against them.

New York’s Adam Warren is 2-3 with a 4.86 ERA and is merely serviceable. His strikeout to walk ration is mediocre at 27-to-18 over 45 innings, though is ERA is much better at home compared to on the road (2.30 vs. 5.34). Nothing really enlightening about Warren, especially since he is 27 years old.


Odds and Outcome
The MLB odds at have New York as -115 favorites with a total of 8.5. The slumping Yankees are only 10-10 in the Bronx this season and they are .500 against the Royals and on the total in past eight meetings against them at home.

Yesterday’s 14-1 drubbing left Kansas City 11-9 on the road this season but they are 11-4 coming off loss this season. The pitching matchup does not yield any strong indicators, however the Royals are 11-6 as underdogs and 23-12 when they are catching +125 or less on the money line in this role which works for my MLB pick.

MLB Free Pick – Kansas City +105

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