It’s an AL Central series finale on Thursday afternoon in Kansas City between the surprising White Sox and disappointing Royals. What’s interesting about this game is that both veteran starting pitchers seem likely to be traded later this summer. For Kansas City, they’re coming off a 2 game series against the Minnesota Twins, losing both games. The White Sox are coming off a 3 game series this past weekend against the Detroit Tigers, winning 2-1. The Royals will be MLB betting favorites here.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals Pro Baseball Betting Preview
Jose Quintana collected his second win over KC yesterday, tossing eight scoreless innings while striking out seven:https://t.co/MyCJUr212g
— Chicago White Sox (@whitesox) May 3, 2017
When: Thursday, May 4, 2:15 PM ET
Where: Kauffman Stadium, KC
Probable pitchers (away/home): Derek Holland/Ian Kennedy
TV: MLB Extra Innings
Radio: Chicago / Kansas City
Opening MLB Lines: Royals favored by TBA
Why Bet On Chicago?
The White Sox have optioned OF Jacob May to Triple-A Charlotte. May was the team’s Opening Day center fielder, but he managed just two hits in 36 at-bats while watching Leury Garcia take over in center. The team recalled OF Willy Garcia from Triple-A. He’ll take May’s spot on the active roster. Garcia went 2-for- 7 in a brief stint with the White Sox last month.
The White Sox pitchers have limited opponents to a .193 (35-181) average with RISP in 2017, the second-lowest mark in MLB. Pitchers have recorded nine games without a RISP hit. The Sox are hitting .329 (23-70) with RISP in the last seven games and rank ninth in the AL with a .235 (46-196) mark.
Avisaíl García leads the American League with a .368 batting average and ranks among the leaders in hits (T3rd, 32), on-base percentage (5th, .409), RBI (6th, 20), OPS (6th, 1.029), slugging percentage (6th, .621) and multihit games (T9th, 8). García is hitting .405 (17-42) with four home runs and 19 RBI with runners on base this season. It’s only the fourth time since RBI became an official statistic in 1920 that a South Sider had at least 20 RBIs in April with an average of .365 or better.
It’s lefty Derek Holland (2-2, 2.17) for the Pale Hose. Holland pitched well in a no-decision against the Tigers on Saturday, scattering five hits over 6 1/3 innings of two-run ball. The veteran southpaw walked two and punched out four on the afternoon. The Tigers scored a run in the first inning on an RBI single by Victor Martinez, then Holland locked them down until Justin Upton’s RBI single in the sixth. Holland owns an impressive 1.14 WHIP and 23/11 K/BB ratio through 29 innings.
Holland will make his third straight start vs. the AL Central and will have faced all division opponents in 2017. He hasn’t faced the Royals in a few years.
Why Bet On Kansas City?
The Royals snapped two long losing streaks with Monday’s win over Chicago. The Royals had lost their previous 9 games and their previous 12 AL Central games (dating to Sept 2016). The team’s 0-8 start in divisional play this year was its worst all-time, no matter whether the club was in the AL West or AL Central. One thing the Royals haven’t lacked for in 2017 is home runs – but they’re hitting them with the bases empty (20 of 26).
The Kansas City offense has shown signs of life over the last five games despite the 1-4 mark in that stretch. The Royals have hit .264 as a team (46-for- 174) with 22 runs scored, a per game average of 4.4. While those numbers don’t scream juggernaut, they are a huge improvement over the first 19 games of the year in which the club batted just .199 (124-for- 622) with 47 runs scored for a 2.5 per game average. Included in that recent offensive surge is hitting with runners in scoring position, with the Royals batting .262 (11-for- 42) in the last five games after starting .152 (17-for- 112).
The ChiSox have not won a season series over the Royals since 2010 (10-8). They went 116-69 (.627) versus the Royals from 2001 to 2010, but from 2011 through ’16, the South Siders were 40-72 (.357) against KC.
It’s Ian Kennedy (0-2, 2.30) for K.C. Kennedy struck out six and allowed two runs on just two hits and a pair of walks over 5.1 innings in a no-decision Friday versus the Twins. Kennedy has been excellent this year, posting elite-level marks in ERA (2.30) and WHIP (0.99) while also throwing up an admirable 8.0 K/9. The right-hander turned over a one-run lead to the bullpen in the sixth inning Friday, but the potential victory was squandered when the Twins painted the scoreboard with a crooked number in the eighth frame. Kennedy ranks dead last in MLB for run support (1.4) over his first five outings of the campaign.
Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals MLB Betting Pick: Royals
Kennedy has been fantastic and the Royals are overdue to score some runs for him.