Top MLB Betting Series of the Weekend (June 24-26)
The Kansas City Royals really shouldn’t have won last year’s World Series, the franchise’s first title since 1985. I say that because the Houston Astros had them beaten in what could have been an elimination Game 4 of last year’s ALDS. But the Royals staged a big rally and then won Game 5 to advance to the ALCS. The Royals and Astros don’t seem likely to have a playoff rematch this fall, but you never know. The teams finish off their regular-season meetings this weekend in Kansas City. The Royals will be slight series favorites on MLB betting lines.
Taking a Sneak Peek at the Top MLB Betting Series of the Weekend (June 24-26)
— Houston Astros (@astros) June 22, 2016
On Oct. 12, 2015 in Houston, the Astros were up 2-1 in the ALDS against the Royals and 6-2 entering the top of the eighth inning. The series was over! But the Royals took advantage when Astros shortstop Carlos Correa couldn’t handle a deflected grounder that might have been a double-play ball, and they rallied for five runs in the eighth inning to beat Houston 9-6 and force their playoff series to a decisive Game 5. The Royals won that game 7-2 back in Kansas City so this will be Houston’s first game there since. Johnny Cueto, now with San Francisco, was dominant on the mound in Game 5 for the Royals.
Kansas City won three of four games in Houston from April 11-14.
Friday’s starter for the Royals is Edinson Volquez (7-6, 4.12). Volquez pitched 6.1 innings, allowing five runs on eight hits while striking out six in Saturday’s win over the Tigers. One major positive, however, is that he didn’t issue a walk for the third time in his 15 starts this season. The Astros go with ace left-hander Dallas Keuchel, last year’s AL Cy Young winner. Keuchel (3-9, 5.32) Keuchel faces the Royals for the first time since pitching in relief against them in Game 5 of the ALDS. He’s won once in his past 12 starts but is coming off a strong outing against the Reds.
In Game 2 on Saturday, the Royals are scheduled to throw 6-foot-10 Chris Young, the tallest active pitcher in the majors. Young (2-6, 5.61) allowed one run on three hits and one walk while striking out seven over six innings, but received no decision Sunday against the Tigers. He now has two quality starts on the season. Houston goes with Mike Fiers (5-3, 4.42). Fiers left Sunday’s game against the Reds after getting hit in the leg with a comebacker. Fiers had put forth an impressive effort prior to exiting, allowing no runs on four hits and a walk over 5.2 innings, striking out five batters. In four starts since June 1, he’s 2-0 with a 2.63 ERA, allowing 21 hits in 24 innings.
And in Sunday’s finale, the Royals go with Ian Kennedy. He wasn’t a member of the Royals last season but one of his best starts this year was in Houston on April 14, allowing one run and two hits over seven innings. Houston is scheduled to throw Doug Fister, who wasn’t a member of the Astros in 2015. Fister won his fourth straight start Monday, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks with five strikeouts over seven innings against the Angels. He leads all Astros starters in wins (eight), ERA (3.21), quality starts (11) and WAR (1.7). Fister was shelled on April 14 vs. Kansas City, allowing six runs and nine hits in 5.2 innings.
Expert Betting Prediction
Kansas City, one of the best home teams in the majors, will win two of the three games so back them on betting lines.