MLB Picks: Royals at Tigers Odds and Predictions
by Dave Schwab - 8/15/2013
The upstart Kansas City Royals will look to close the gap in the AL Central race against the division-leading Detroit Tigers this Thursday night in the first of an extended five-game weekend showdown at Kauffman Stadium that includes a Friday doubleheader. This Game 1 clash is slated to get underway at 7:08 p.m. (ET), and it will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
Kansas City will first have to finish a three-game set against Miami at home on Wednesday afternoon before heading to Detroit. It split the first two games with the Marlins and is now 7-3 in its last 10 games. The Royals trail Detroit by 6.5 games in the division with an overall record of 62-55. They are 29-28 on the road.
The Tigers will look to snap a three-game skid on Wednesday when they wrap up a three-game series against the White Sox. This 10-game road trip started with an impressive four-game sweep of Cleveland, but they went on to lose two of three to the Yankees and the first two games against the White Sox. Detroit is now 69-49 on the year and returns home where it has gone 37-19.
Royals at Tigers Betting Storylines
The Royals continue to hang around in the race to the postseason with a 19-6 record since the all-star break. They are four games back in the AL wild-card chase, so this game and this series are crucial to their playoff chances on a couple of levels. Kansas City is ranked 10th overall in the American League in scoring but has upped the ante during this recent run behind sluggers such as Billy Butler and Alex Gordon. Each player has knocked in 61 runs so far, and they have combined for 24 home runs.
Pitching remains the primary strength of this team with the best staff ERA in the AL at 3.52. The Royals will send Jeremy Guthrie to the mound as their starter for Thursday night. The right-hander was tagged with his first loss in five starts since the break last Friday night after allowing five runs on 10 hits against Boston. Overall, he is 12-8 with a 4.10 ERA. Against the Tigers, Guthrie is 7-3 with an ERA of 4.06.
Detroit’s sweep of the Indians the other week opened up its biggest lead of the season in the division race, and despite this minor slump it has been rock-solid as well since the break. It started the second half with back-to-back losses to the Royals on the road before posting 17 wins in its last 22 games that included a 12-game winning streak. The Tigers’ bats continue to pound out the runs with an average of 5.1 a game, which is second only to Boston in the AL. Miguel Cabrera leads the team across the board in hitting and is among the league leaders with 111 RBI and 37 home runs.
The Tigers have the second-best team ERA in the AL at 3.55. They will go with Anibal Sanchez as their starter for this series opener. He is 10-7 this season with an ERA of 2.58. The right-hander has now allowed two runs or less in his last five starts while lasting at least six innings in each of these outings. He was on the wrong end of a 1-0 pitching duel the last time he faced Kansas City and is 1-2 overall with a ridiculous 0.82 ERA in 22 innings pitched against the Royals.
Royals at Tigers MLB Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline has opened Kansas City as a +180 road underdog for Thursday night’s series opener with the Tigers listed as -190 home favorites. The total for this contest has been set at 8.
The Royals are 8-1 in their last nine road games and 10-2 in their last 12 division games. The total has stayed “under” in six of their last eight games overall.
The Tigers have won 11 of their last 14 games against teams from the AL Central, and they bring a nine-game home winning streak into this matchup. The total has gone “over” in five of their last seven games.
Head-to-head this season, the Royals have a 5-3 edge, but six of the games were played in Kansas City. These two split the only two games played in Detroit. The total has stayed under in five of the last six meetings.
MLB Picks: Royals at Tigers Predictions
This should be a great series between two teams playing at the top of their game, but as far as this matchup the clear edge goes to Detroit. Kauffman Stadium will be a sight for sore eyes on Thursday night after a grueling road trip, and Sanchez should be able to keep Kansas City in check deep into the game. The under for this contestis also looking good, but if you are only playing a side stick with the Tigers despite the high money line to grab the early series lead with the win.
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