Monday night baseball and we will see the Kansas City Royals travel to Minute Maid Park to take on the Houston Astros in game 1 of their 3 game series. Free Pick to follow. First pitch is scheduled for a 8:10 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised locally.
Kansas City +119
Over/ Under: 7.5 O -115
Kansas City comes in playing well as they have a 4 game winning streak, which includes a 3 game sweep at Oakland over the weekend. The Royals are now 16 games over .500, have a 5.5 game lead over Minnesota in the AL Central and have the 2nd best record in all of baseball. The Houston Astros have a 4 game lead over the Halos in the AL West and have the 2nd best record in the AL, but they are not playing good ball at the moment as they have won just 4 of their last 10 games. The Royals rank 9th in scoring (4.39 rpg), while on the mound they are 6th in ERA (3.47). Houston ranks 7th in scoring (4.44 rpg), while on the mound they are 9th in ERA (3.58).
Trends for this game include: The Royals are 17-5 in their last 22 Monday games and 23-7 n their last 30 games vs the AL West, while Houston has gone 12-2 in their last 14 home games vs. a right-handed starter, but just 15-38 in their last 53 games vs. a team with a winning % above .600.
Getting the ball for the Royals tonight will be Joe Blanton, who spent some time in the pen this year and is 2-0 with a 1.73 ERA in 9 appearances overall, while in 2 starts he has gone 2-0 with a 1.64 ERA. Joe is 3-2 with a 3.29 ERA in 9 career appearances (7 Starts) vs Houston.
Taking the hill for the Astros tonight will be Lance McCullers, who is 3-2 with a 2.23 ERA in 8 starts this year, while at home he has gone 2-0 with a 1.17 ERA in 4 starts. He has yet to face the Royals in his brief career.
Pick: I will look to the dog in this one. The Royals are hot right now and are just finding ways to win right now, while it looks like the Astros are headed in the opposite direction. Houston beat the Yanks yesterday, but still they are not playing good ball, while the Royal just swept a 3 game series in Oakland vs a team that was rather hot coming in. Yes McCullers has strong numbers this year, especially at home, but Blanton has really pitched well when he has been in there and he has fared well vs the Astros in his career. Kansas City just has it right now, while the Astro's don't. The Royals must take game 1 here as they know the face Keuchel the next night. I say they get the win in this one.
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