MLB World Series Betting: Game 3 Opening Line Report
by Alan Matthews - 10/23/2014
Thank you, Kansas City Royals. I don't really care who wins this World Series, although like most outside of the San Francisco Bay Area I am pulling for the underdog Royals because they haven't won anything in 29 years. Before this series began, I leaned the Giants in six games, and I still feel that way. However, I am thrilled the Royals won Game 2 on Wednesday night -- this is just the second World Series where the first two games were both decided by five runs or more -- because other than K.C.'s wild-card win over Oakland, these playoffs have been rather dull. Not a single series went to a winner-take-all game. Baseball could really use a Game 7 in this one. The ratings are going to probably be the worst in World Series history, but at least a Game 7 would help.
With the Fall Classic moving to the Giants' AT&T Park for the next three games, there of course will be no designated hitter. For the Royals, that means Billy Butler heads to the bench. That's a big loss. He was 1-for-3 in the opener and 2-for-3 with two RBIs in Game 2. His RBI single in the sixth inning gave Kansas City the 3-2 lead. It led to a five-run inning to blow open the game. Butler hit .271 with nine homers and 66 RBIs this season and is batting .273 with seven RBIs in these playoffs. I am sure he will pinch-hit in every game.
The decision isn't as crystal clear for the Giants. Michael Morse was the designated hitter the first two games and had a single in each. Bruce Bochy could play him in left field and bench Travis Ishikawa. He is 1-for-5 in this series but was pinch-hit for early in Game 1 by Juan Perez. Ishikawa is a much better defensive player than Morse, so I think he starts Game 3. He also is a lefty hitter, and the Royals are starting a right-hander on Friday. However, K.C. will go with lefty Jason Vargas in Game 4, and then you could see the right-handed Morse in left.
The Giants were 45-36 at home during the regular season and are 4-1 there in these playoffs. The Royals were 47-34 on the road, the most away wins in the American League. They are 4-0 in the postseason. Odds from BookMaker. The updated series line has San Francisco at -125 and Kansas City at +105. When the World Series is tied 1-1, the winner of Game 3 takes the series 70 percent of the time (38-16).
Game 3: Royals at Giants (-126, 7)
Kansas City is -200 on the runline, and the Giants are +170. Early action on the site is leaning "over" the runs and on the Giants on the moneyline.
The Royals go with Jeremy Guthrie. He was 13-11 with a 4.13 ERA during the season and 7-5 with a 4.01 ERA on the road. Guthrie has made one playoff start, his first career, allowing a run and three hits in five innings on Oct. 14 against Baltimore in the ALCS. He did not face San Francisco during the regular season. Morse is 3-for-8 career off Guthrie, and Ishikawa 0-for-3, but I don't think that will matter in terms of who starts. Hunter Pence is 1-for-7 off Guthrie. Pablo Sandoval is 3-for-6 with two doubles and two RBIs. Brandon Crawford is 4-for-4 with a solo homer.
San Francisco right-hander Tim Hudson makes the first World Series appearance of his stellar 16-year career. He was 9-13 with a 3.57 ERA in the regular season, fading big time in September. Hudson was 5-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 14 home starts. He pitched in Kansas City on Aug. 9 and was saddled with the loss, giving up three runs and six hits in six innings. Alex Gordon hit a solo homer off him. Alcides Escobar is 3-for-8 with a double off Hudson. Norichika Aoki is 2-for-8 with a double and three walks. Omar Infante is 6-for-26 with two doubles. Hudson hasn't gotten a decision in two playoff starts this year. He pitched really well in Washington in the NLDS, holding the Nats to a run and seven hits in 7.1 innings. That was the series-changing game San Francisco won 2-1 in 18 innings. Hudson wasn't sharp in the NLCS at St. Louis, allowing four runs in 6.1 innings.
Key trends: Kansas City has won seven straight as a road dog. It is 6-0 in its past six after scoring at least five runs in the previous game. The Royals are 4-0 in Guthrie's past four interleague starts. They are 5-1 in his past six on the road. The Giants have a six-game home winning streak in World Series games. They are 7-1 in their past eight interleague games as a favorite. San Francisco is 13-3 in its past 16 at home against right-handers. It is 1-4 in Hudson's past five at home vs. teams with a winning record and 0-4 in his past four interleague starts. The "over/under" has gone over in seven of Kansas City's past 10 on the road. The under has hit in seven of Guthrie's past 10 on the road vs. teams with a winning record. The over is 6-0 in the Giants' past six vs. a righty.
Early lean: Hard to trust either of these pitchers too much, so I do like the over here. Definitely check the weather, however. Right now it looks quite nice, but that can change in an instant in San Francisco. I lean the Giants. Losing Butler's bat hurts the Royals plenty, while the Giants are used to not playing with a DH.
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