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Free Pick: St. Louis at Kansas City
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Tue, 06/03/14 - 7:15 PM Bryan Leonard | MLB Money Line
double-dime bet 926 STL (-120) 5Dimes vs 925 KAN
Results: L, -$240
Analysis:
926 Kansas City at St. Louis

James Shields and Jaime Garcia are on the lineup card as the starting pitchers for Tuesday's I-70 rivalry matchup between the Royals and Cardinals. Something happened to Shields from April to May. In April, Shields held opposing batters to a slash line against of .195/.255/.318. In May, however, hitters teed off to the tune of a .307/.345/.478 slash and a .361 wOBA. Shields struck out 41 in 40 April innings but just 28 in 40.1 May innings.

As a result, Shields enters this start very frustrated with his performance. In his last two starts, Shields has allowed five home runs to the Angels and Blue Jays and gave up 10 runs on 17 hits. Trade rumors may be affecting Shields as it seems like a foregone conclusion that it would be in the Royals' best interest to grab something for him after losing Wil Myers to acquire him.

The more likely reason is that Shields is overthrowing right now. He has pitched at the highest average fastball velocity of the season in each of his last three starts and that has led to 13 runs on 26 hits. Another contributing factor is that the Royals are slightly above average defensively after being among the league leaders over the last few seasons.

Jaime Garcia should give a poor Royals offense a hard time on Tuesday night. The Royals entered play on Monday with the 29th-ranked wOBA at .292. They're among the league's worst against lefties with a .646 OPS. When Garcia is healthy, he's been a very effective pitcher with a career ERA of 3.47 and a FIP of 3.40. So far this season, he has 19 strikeouts and zero walks in 19.2 innings.

Given Shields's recent struggles and his offense going up against a tough left-hander, the Cardinals look like a solid play for Tuesday night.

PLAY: ST. LOUIS


Pick Made: Jun 3 2014 5:58AM PST
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