Houston at Kansas City ALDS Game 2 MLB Betting Analysis

Posted by Alex Murphy on Friday,October 9, 2015 11:27, EST in

The Houston Astros predictably delivered an upset win over the Kansas City Royals last night, and will now face the Royals for Game 2 of the ALDS with the hopes of going 2-0 and moving to within one win of qualifying for the next stage of the 2015 MLB playoffs. On the flip side, Kansas City will of course be taking this game seriously, well-aware that an 0-2 hole could condemn them for an early exit when star pitcher Dallas Keuchel leads the Astros charge in Houston for Game 3. Which of the two teams will be claiming this crucial win in Game 2? Read on for a comprehensive MLB odds breakdown of this matchup, and don’t forget to check out our other betting game previews for today’s games, inclusive of free MLB picks.

A Look at the Houston at Kansas City ALDS Game 2 MLB Betting Analysis & TV Info

Starting Pitchers: Scott Kazmir vs. Johnny Cueto
Venue: Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City
Date: Friday, October 9, 2015
Time: 3:45 PM ET
TV: FS1

After upsetting the Royals in Game 1, the Astros will be giving the ball to veteran Scott Kazmir (7-11, 3.10 ERA), hoping that the lefty can use his experience to lead his team to another win. This will be Kazmir’s first playoff start since 2009 (when he was with the LA Angels).

Notably, Kazmir has struggled since being acquired by the Astros in late July, posting a 2-6 record with a 4.17 ERA. Needless to say, his numbers haven’t been that much of a surprise, as we’ve never been that high on the overrated Kazmir.

Even so, the lefty pitched well in three starts against the Royals this season, allowing just five runs on 16 hits plus three walks in 21.1 innings, posting a decent 2.11 ERA with a 0.89 WHIP in the process.

Given his struggles, it would be hard to trust Kazmir to lead the team to victory. This is where Houston’s offense, led by the in-form Jose Altuve and playoff-surging George Springer, will need to come up big for their franchise. Altuve is decently 4-of-9 in this year’s postseason with a couple of RBI, while Springer boasts of three hits in eight at-bats in the current playoffs, along with a homer and an RBI.

Turning to the other dugout, the Royals will be giving the ball to veteran Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44 ERA), banking all their hopes on the ace pitcher for the all-important Game 2 win. Despite being brought in during the trade deadline to help the Royals in solving their pitching problems, the Cincinnati acquisition has struggled to acclimatize to Kansas City’s game, posting a 4-7 record with a 4.76 ERA as a Royal.  Even more worryingly, Cueto is just 3-6 with a 3.64 ERA in his 13 career starts against the Astros.

Kansas City fans can, however, take solace in the fact that Cueto performed quite well in his final stretch of the season, going 2-1 with a 3.24 ERA in his final four outings of the regular season. Added to his playoff experience, the hope is that the 29-year-old Dominican native will give full value for his high price as a free agent.

Equally important to the task at hand for the Royals is an improved performance from the offense. Outside the two Thursday homers from Kendrys Morales, the rest of Kansas City’s offense struggled against Houston’s starter Collin McHugh, mustering just two walks and two runs. This offense will need to be on its best of displays, led by the likes of Eric Hosmer, who was hitless in four at-bats in Game 1. Homer is decently 9-of-23 against Kazmir with an RBI and a walk, making him a potential game-changer for the Royals.

Key Betting Trends

•    Houston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
•    Kansas City is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
•    Houston is 3-2 SU in its last 5 games against Kansas City
•    Kansas City is 2-3 SU in its last 5 home games against Houston
•    Houston is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games on the road
•    Kansas City is 4-9 SU in its last 13 games at home
•    Houston is 5-2 SU in its last 7 road games against Kansas City
•    Kansas City is 2-8 SU in its last 10 overall games against Houston
•    Houston is 5-1 in its last 6 Divisional Playoff games
•    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Kansas City’s last 6 home games against Houston
•    The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Houston’s last 6 overall games against Kansas City

Houston at Kansas City ALDS Game 2 Predictions

Though he’s not been the best of his dominant pitching self in a Kansas City uniform, Cueto has performed relatively better than Kazmir since July, which gives the Royals some slight edge in pitching. Offensively, the Astros were real terror yesterday, and obviously better than the Royals, but if Hosmer and Morales can step up to the plate like they’ve done in many big games, Houston’s offensive strength will be neutralized well-enough. With that, the Royals should be able to bounce back with a win that will level-up the series at 1-1. A relatively tame scoring affair looks likely, so we are recommending an UNDER total.