Two Struggling Offenses Equals ‘Under’ Bet in Royals-White Sox Finale

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, April 25, 2017 10:50 PM UTC

Tuesday, Apr. 25, 2017 10:50 PM UTC

The AL Central rival Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox have been a lot alike so far in the 2017 baseball season, and they close a three-game series from the North Side of Chicago in a Wednesday matinee (2:10 ET).

MLB Season Record: 7-4

Kansas City Royals At Chicago White Sox (-143, 8)

The teams might have to dodge the raindrops to get this one in as there’s an 80 percent chance of thunderstorms. They are supposed to be scattered in the morning and more widespread in the afternoon with some storms potentially severe. Winds will be from the SSW at 10-20 mph. So I’m not confident they will play, but if at all possible they will. Both teams are off Thursday, however. That doesn’t necessarily mean it would be made up then.

The Royals and White Sox have been similar thus far in that neither team can hit much, but both are pitching much better than expected. Entering Tuesday’s game, the Royals were last in the majors with 47 runs and the White Sox 26th with 67 despite having the American League’s leading hitter in Avisail Garcia. Third baseman Matt Davidson also has gone nuts in the early going.

Both pitching staffs have been great. The White Sox, also as of Tuesday, lead the majors with a 2.91 ERA. That’s shocking after the Pale Hose traded their ace, Chris Sale, to the Red Sox this offseason and didn’t get any big-league pitching back in the deal. Starters James Shields, Derek Holland and Miguel Gonzalez are all throwing way over their heads. Chicago’s bullpen has been even better, trailing only the Yankees with a collective 1.76 ERA. However, one key member of that group, right-hander Zach Putnam, was put on the 10-day DL on Tuesday with right elbow inflammation. That’s potentially terrible news because Putnam needed surgery on that elbow last August after battling discomfort for much of the 2016 season. He had a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 innings this year.

Kansas City’s starting pitching was a huge question mark entering the season after the tragic death of promising young right-hander Yordano Ventura and the free-agent loss of Edinson Volquez. Yet the Royals lead the majors with a 2.61 rotation ERA as of Tuesday. Opponents are hitting just .224 against them. The bullpen is among the worst in the majors with a 5.90 ERA.

Considering the above information, it’s no surprise the White Sox and Royals have been good ‘under’ bets so far with Chicago at 6-11-1 O/U and Kansas City 5-12-2 entering Tuesday.


Probable Pitchers

What makes the White Sox’s pitching success more mind-boggling as that the new ace, lefty Jose Quintana, has been inconsistent at 0-4 with a 6.17 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 23.1 innings. As soon as the Sox traded Sale to Boston, the rumors began about Quintana, but his value likely has gone down a bit now. The numbers are a bit skewed by two bad starts where Quintana had two five-run innings against him. Otherwise he has been OK. He comes off a home loss to Cleveland, allowing three runs and five hits over six innings. The White Sox have scored a total of four runs in his four starts.

Last year, Quintana was 0-3 with a 4.91 ERA in four starts against the Royals, who hit .277 off him. The Sox are just 4-17 in Quintana’s past 21 vs. the Royals. Alex Gordon is a career .280 hitter off him with two homers in 50 at-bats. Salvador Perez is 19-for-57 with two homers and eight RBIs. Eric Hosmer only hits .177 vs. Quintana.

The Royals acquired right-hander Nate Karns this offseason from Seattle for outfielder Jarrod Dyson. That trade is probably a wash right now as Dyson isn’t hitting much, while Karns is 0-1 with a 6.35 ERA and 1.53 WHIP in 17.0 innings. He lasted only 4.2 innings last time out in Texas, allowing six runs, including four homers. Karns had been solid his previous two starts. He didn’t face the White Sox last year. Garcia is 2-for-8 off him career with two solo homers. Jose Abreu is 2-for-7 with a homer.

While both starting pitchers are a bit iffy and Guaranteed Rate Field is hitter-friendly, you have to keep riding the ‘under’ on your MLB picks on these clubs while they are struggling to score. Kansas City entered Tuesday having put up two runs or fewer in eight straight games. The off-and-on rain, if they do play, should keep the scoring down as well.

MLB Free Pick: ‘Under’ 8Best Line Offered: BetOnline

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