Will Top 2 ERA Leaders Live Up to Hype in Astros-Royals Battle?

jason vargas

Willie Bee

Wednesday, June 7, 2017 12:34 PM GMT

The lowest two ERAs in the majors collide Wednesday in Kansas City, where Dallas Keuchel and the Astros are favored on the MLB odds against Jason Vargas and the Royals.

MLB Season Record: 27-35 (-8.81)

Dallas Keuchel won a Cy Young Award in 2015 with an outstanding season to help the Houston Astros to a surprise playoff appearance, then suffered through a poor follow-up campaign a year ago. Jason Vargas was seemingly an ace in the making when he came out of Cal State Long Beach in the second round of the ’04 draft, injuries plaguing most of his career only to be putting together a Cy Young-caliber season in 2017 for the Kansas City Royals.

The two left-handers collide Wednesday in Kansas City for an 8:15 PM (ET) start at Kauffman Stadium, and it’s the Astros carrying -160 chalk on the MLB odds with 8½ for the total.

Houston opened the series by extending its win streak to 11 with a 7-3 decision, BookMaker closing the Astros -129. That’s where Houston’s streak ended as Kansas City rallied from a 7-1 hole and walked off with a 9-7 decision Tuesday night on a Mike Moustakas home run.

 

Rare Matchup Of MLB’s Top 2 ERA Leaders

Keuchel’s fine season continued Friday in Arlington where the Astros pinned a 7-1 decision on Texas. The former Razorbacks star tossed six scoreless frames to help Houston to its 9th straight win – and 10th of 2017 – with him on the hill. He could easily be 11-0 if not for a bullpen meltdown against the Royals on April 8, Keuchel allowing a run in seven innings and leaving with a 2-1 lead before Kansas City crushed Houston relievers for a 7-3 triumph.

Vargas is coming off an even better performance in a complete-game shutout of the Tribe this past weekend. It was the fifth time in 2017 the former 49er went at least seven while posting a zero in the run column to leave him second in the majors behind Keuchel (1.67) with a 2.08 ERA. Vargas' 2017 campaign started with a win in Houston, holding the dangerous Astros lineup to a run on six hits in six innings. Jose Altuve and Carlos Beltran have been his toughest outs, each hammering a homer and combining for 11 hits in 24 at bats (.458).

 

Umpire Notes, Mother Nature & A Free Pick

We caught Doug Eddings’ last plate assignment Saturday in Baltimore, where David Price put forth a solid effort in Boston’s 5-2 triumph. It was a rare ‘under’ for Eddings in 2017, his record now standing at 8-2-1 O/U/P. This is his first appearance in KC this season, the Royals and the totals splitting his two games behind the mask at Kauffman a year ago.

Clear skies, a light easterly breeze (in from right) and 80° is the forecast for the start of the game. A Royals victory is my forecast and free baseball pick.

Free MLB Pick: Royals +153Best Line Offered: 5Dimes

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