MLB Betting – O’s Need to Rebound in KC
Zack GarrisonNo comments
The Kansas City Royals (75-48, 42-20 Home) can pretty much put the ship in cruise control. Last year’s World Series runners-up hold a 12.5-game lead over the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central and are all but a lock to qualify for the postseason. Tonight (8:10 PM Eastern at Kauffman Stadium), the Royals will be facing a Baltimore Orioles (62-61, 25-36 Away) team in a starkly different situation; losers of four straight, the O’s are now two games back in the AL Wild Card race, needing to leapfrog three teams in order to get back into a playoff spot.
The Royals got off to a rocky start in their four-game set in Boston last week, dropping the first two games, 4-1 and 7-2. But they bounced back with back-to-back wins, including an 8-6 victory last night that came on the strength of a four-run ninth inning. After an Eric Hosmer singled tied the game at sixes, third baseman Mike Moustakas hit a go-ahead two-run double. Wade Davis picked up the save in the bottom half.
“[We had a] lot of great at-bats that inning,” Moustakas said to the Associated Press after the game. “It ended up coming around to me and I was able to get the job done.”
The win upped KC’s road record to an impressive 33-28.
Righty Kris Medlen (1-0, 2.51 ERA), who has made seven appearances out of the bullpen this season, will be making his first start of the year tonight. The 29-year-old is finally recovered from Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2014 campaign and much of this year, as well.
Medlen will be facing a Baltimore Orioles team in a tailspin. The team was swept by the Minnesota Twins last week, losing all four games at home. The losses were extremely costly as Minnesota was able to jump ahead of Baltimore in the Wild Card race. The O’s are now two games back of the final playoff spot in the AL and need to pass Minnesota, LA, and Texas.
The squad will send Ubaldo Jimenez (9-7, 3.97 ERA) to the hill tonight, hoping the big righty can stop the team’s skid. Jimenez has good numbers on the year, but they are impugned by his recent struggles. He is just 2-3 over his last seven starts with an inflated 7.12 ERA. He’s managed to go just five innings in each of his last two starts, giving up seven earned runs, combined.
That said, in his last start on the road, Jimenez went eight shutout innings and gave up just two hits against the Angels.
The Royals are rolling, but I expect Jimenez and Baltimore to bounce back tonight. They will be a desperate team and Jimenez proved he can come up clutch on the road in his last start away from Camden. Throw in the fact that Medlen will be making his first start of the year, and the O’s (+119) look like better value.
Pick: Baltimore +119.