Thoughts on ALDS MLB Betting: Kansas City vs Houston

Posted by Alex Murphy on Wednesday,October 14, 2015 10:21, EST in

Monday night, the Kansas City Royals sat six outs away from elimination from the 2015 MLB betting playoffs, down to the Houston Astros by four runs. However, it wasn’t that long until the Royals were leaving Minute Maid Park with a 9-6 comeback victory, a stunning collapse by the Astros’ bullpen. When a reporter asked Royal Jarrod Dyson if they had ever thought that the season might have been over, he just laughed. “What, did you just expect us to roll over?” he chuckled.

Thoughts on ALDS MLB Betting: Kansas City Royals vs Houston Astros

 


 

Last year, of course, the Royals were the surprise of the postseason, winning their wild card game and then sweeping the ALDS and the ALCS before falling to the San Francisco Giants in an epic seven-game World Series. They dominated the American League Central this year, steaming to 95 wins. It’s true that their division battle lacked the drama of the Rangers’ and Angels’ chase of the Astros in the West or the dance among the Cubs, Pirates and Cardinals – all of whom won more than 90 games during the season – and so the Royals were sort of overlooked. The mighty Blue Jays seem ready to slug their way to a World Series, and the Rangers have been the amazing story the past two weeks, storming past the Astros to capture the West division title. Even the Astros who had survived their collapse in the division to win the wild card game against New York and make a divison series, made for a better story than the Royals.

And yet here the Royals are, poised to go into Game 5 and perhaps into the ALCS and beyond. If they can finish the epic quest they started in 2014, they will remember the top of the eighth inning in Game 4 against Houston. That frame lasted 40 minutes and required 53 pitches from the Astros. The Royals were down 6-2 until Alex Rios began the inning with a single. Two more singles followed to load the bases. Lorenzo Cain hit another single – and then Eric Hosmer hit another. All of a sudden it was 6-4, and the bases were loaded with nobody out. Kendrys Morales hit a ground ball up the middle, but Carlos Correa booted it for a two-run error, and suddenly it was tied. Alex Gordon grounded out, but Hosmer scored, and the Royals were ahead – and that was it.

As Eric Hosmer told SI.com, “We always feel that we’re still in games, and we still have a chance. That’s the mentality for this whole entire team. It’s never quit, and the character we showed today – that’s what a championship ball club does.” So this was a sweet day for the Royals – and an awful one for Houston. The Astros have needed a power option in the bullpen all season, but they never have found one. They tried to get Craig Kimbrel from San Diego and Aroldis Chapman from Cincinnati before the trade deadline, but neither deal worked. Their closer is Luke Gregerson, and he had a good season with 31 saves out of 36 chances. However, his fastball rarely tops 90, and if you watched that awful inning for the Astros, you saw how much the Astros need a guy who can come in and shut things down. Can the Astros right the ship in Kansas City? We’ll know Wednesday night.