Kansas City puts in recent star acquisition on display Friday night, sending Johnny Cueto to the hill against Toronto. Do we back JC as a short road favorite? Or is the play with the home dog?
Royals-Blue Jays Friday Betting Odds
As of this writing bettors could Kansas City with newly acquired Johnny Cueto at -105 at GT Bets, or Toronto and Drew Hutchison at +103 at Heritage. Also, those who like the OVER on tonight' game could get it at 7.5 runs (-105) at Pinnacle, while those who like the UNDER could get that at eight runs (-120) at JustBet.
Toronto grabbed Game 1 of this series Thursday night 5-2. The Jays, to our delight, covered as -125 post-time favorites on yesterday's betting line, but the game, to our chagrin, stayed UNDER its total of nine runs, as neither team scored after the fourth inning.
At 52-51 Toronto trails division-leading New York by six games in the AL East, but also sits just two games behind Minnesota in the scrum for the second American League wild-card spot.
At 61-40 Kansas City leads the Yankees and Houston by four games in the battle for the best record in the American League.
These teams have now split four games this season.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Hutchison (9-2, 5.42) is awfully lucky he pitches for a team that scores runs like Toronto. On the season he's just six-for-20 on quality starts, and has gone at least six innings just once in his last eight outings. Last Saturday he gave up five earned runs in four innings against Seattle, and over his last four starts he's allowed 16 ER through 19 2/3 innings. He's also given up 128 hits and walked 34 guys through 108 innings this season.
The Blue Jays are 13-7 in Hutchison's starts, with the OVERS going 13-7.
Hutchison last faced Kansas City in April of last season, giving up four runs in seven innings of a 4-2 Toronto loss.
Cueto (7-6, 2.62) is 12-for-19 on quality starts this season. Last Sunday he tossed eight innings of four-hit, shutout ball against Colorado, and over his last six starts he's allowed eight earned runs through 40 innings. For the season JC has allowed just 93 hits through 131 innings, walked 29 and whiffed 120.
Cincinnati went 11-8 in Cueto's starts, with the UNDERS going 10-7-2.
Cueto last started against Toronto back in June of last season, when he allowed three runs – one earned – through eight innings, with one walk and eight strikeouts, in a 4-3 Reds win.
Friday's Batting Splits
Kansas City ranks fourth in the Bigs right now against right-handed pitching with a .269 team batting average, and 11th with a .319 team on-base percentage.
Toronto ranks 14th against righties with a .256 team average and ninth with a .322 team OBP.
Ballpark Totals Factor
UNDERS are 29-19 in games played at Rogers Centre this season, even though Jays home games are averaging 9.2 runs per, seventh-most among all ML ballparks. Obviously, oddsmakers have been posting some large totals on Rogers Centre games.
Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion and Devon Travis have both missed recent action with sore body parts, and both are very iffy for tonight. So the Jays could be a bit shorthanded.
Royals-Blue Jays Friday Free Picks
Cueto gets a big check-mark in the pitching match-up; we're not sure why Toronto keeps trotting Hutchison out there. So we like KC for tonight. Also, the Royals could score five or six runs by themselves, and that would go a long way toward this game playing OVER the total.
MLB Picks: Kansas City and OVER at GTbets