Buckle up for plenty of MLB action tonight as we have a plethora of games throughout the evening from coast to coast as playoff races heat up down the stretch.
Let’s get in on that action with a Yankees vs. Royals MLB Pick from Kauffman Stadium in K.C.!
Yankees vs. Royals Betting Odds
New York Yankees
Kansas City Royals
Over 10 (-120)
Under 10 (+100)
Regardless of opponent, every game involving the top four teams in the AL East are absolutely vital right now and that remains the case as the New York Yankees travel to Kansas City and continue their early-week set with the Royals.
For the road side it’s left-hander Nestor Cortes going and between the bullpen and more recently the Yankees rotation he’s been brilliant here this season. Cortes will carry a 2.16 ERA into action tonight, but also an even 2.00 mark across four starts for the Bombers this season. Additionally, he also owns a 3.45 FIP/0.50 HR/9 as a starter as well, so he’s certainly been reliable in both capacities.
He’s allowed two runs or less in all four of his starts this season and is coming off five innings of two-run ball his last time out against the Mariners. We should see Cortes get deeper into this game as he continues to stretch out as a starter as he’s gone five innings in back-to-back starts after going just eight innings across his first two starts of the season.
Despite a sub-1.50 ERA at home this season, Cortes also owns a 2.86 ERA on the road, so let’s look for him to continue delivering out of that Yankees rotation tonight.
Building Block for the Bats?
It was a rough night for the Yankees bullpen last night but also a potential building block for the bats that didn’t stop hitting throughout the extra-inning portion of last night’s wild 8-6 win.
Prior to that eight-run output, the Yankees hadn’t scored more than five in their previous four games, even being shut out by the Mariners — at home — before shipping off to K.C. for last night’s series opener.
The team’s offensive struggles were addressed at the deadline with the acquisitions of pbioth Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo with each player contributing to the team’s superior performance of late. Still, the bats have performed nowhere near expectations.
Even since the trade deadline, the Yankees rank 15th with a .315 wOBA, right in between the Cardinals and Nationals. In fact, that .315 wOBA matches their total for the season, a figure that has them sitting 16th while their .156 ISO checks in at 23rd, one spot back of the Detroit Tigers, for comparison’s sake.
With a lineup that features Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, DJ LeMahieu, Gleyber Torres and Gary Sanchez, those results are wildly unacceptable. Even with Rizzo and Gallo on board, the needle has not been pushed, but perhaps last night’s effort can get them on a role as they look to make up ground in that AL East.
Even considering the fact the Yankees’ bullpen blew four saves last night, their bullpen shall not be blamed for the team’s positioning in the standings or their mediocre +17 run differential on the season, the worst mark in the division this side of the Baltimore Orioles.
Entering tonight’s contest, that group ranks seventh in baseball with a 3.65 ERA while walks and home runs have been kept in check with a 3.34 BB/9 and 1.00 HR/9. Heck, even their 3.69 FIP sits third league wide.
Even with last night’s effort, the Yankees still sit ninth with a 3.59 ERA since the All-Star break. In other words, this group has given the team a chance to win far more often than not, even under the pressure-cooking atmosphere that comes with playing for the Pin Stripes.
The Royals are obviously well out of contention in the AL despite a nice start to the year that came on the heels of an aggressive offseason, however they too showed plenty of fight despite taking another loss last night, their 63rd of the season.
They’ll look to bounce back tonight as they counter Cortes with a left-hander of their own in the form of youngster Daniel Lynch.
Through the first six starts of his big-league career, Lynch has turned in a 6.00 ERA, although those results are quite misleading. In addition to owning far superior peripherals such as a 4.24 FIP, 4.84 xFIP, 3.00 BB/9 and 1.00 HR/9, breaking down the game logs reveals something far superior.
Only once in those six starts has Lynch surrendered more than three earned runs: an eight-run shellacking across just 0.2 innings at home against the White Sox in his second career start back on May 8. In three starts since being recalled from the minors, Lynch has hurled 19 innings of four-run ball with just four walks against, good for a 1.89 ERA/1.89 BB/9. In fact, he redeemed himself against that White Sox lineup his last time out by hurling five innings of one-run ball with two walks against seven strikeouts, in Chicago.
The 24-year-old has scuffled at Triple-A this season in posting a 5.84 ERA/4.57 FIP in 57 innings, but his work at the MLB level has largely been solid outside of that eight-run thrashing three months ago.
The Royals became clear sellers at the trade deadline which saw Jorge Soler dealt to the Atlanta Braves just as he was heating up at the plate from a dismal first half. Adalberto Mondesi is in the midst of a lost season due to a variety of ailments and with a left-hander on the mound it’s likely Andrew Benintendi takes a seat tonight.
That’s already three key bats out of the lineup and despite some positive results of late, the team once again finds itself near the bottom of the league in most offensive categories.
The Royals have now scored six runs in each of their last two games, but also scored two runs or less in five of their previous eight while averaging 2.75 runs per game during that time. A nine-run effort on Aug. 4 if skewing those numbers, as well.
For the season, the Royals sit 25th with a .299 wOBA on the season while their .146 ISO on the season checks in at a share of 26th alongside the Texas Rangers. Against lefties such as Cortes, the Royals sit 24th with a .309 wOBA and 22nd with an increased .160 ISO, so the bats have at least played up a little bit against southpaws.
Additionally, while they’re one of the very worst road offenses in baseball, they move up to 17th with a .319 wOBA at home this season, so facing a southpaw at home is where they’ve performed at their best this season.
Nonetheless, with a watered-down group I wouldn’t exactly expect the Royals to mash out the remainder of the season.
No Signs of Relief
The Royals’ bullpen posted top-10 numbers last season in one of the more surprising developments for the ball club, but those results now seem like a distant memory given how the group has performed here in the 2021 season.
Entering play tonight, the Royals rank 23rd with a 4.63 ERA on the season while their near-identical 4.61 FIP and 4.62 xFIP certainly agree with that subpar work. Walks and home runs have been issues with a 4.44 BB/9 and 1.30 HR/9, the latter of which sits 23rd in the league and comes as little surprise considering the batted-ball data.
In fact, the worst batted-ball bullpens in baseball both reside in the AL Central between the Royals and Minnesota Twins. The Royals’ 41.8% hard-hit rate against on the season is second-worst in baseball next to the Twins while their 10.4% barrel rate ranks dead last with the Twins’ 9.8% mark checking in at 29th. So, the elevated home run total is not a big surprise considering the team’s bullpen is being barrelled up more than any other team in the sport.
Obviously, giving up seven runs (four earned) in last night’s loss isn’t installing any more confidence into this beleaguered group.
Yankees vs. Royals MLB Pick
It was a high-scoring affair in last night’s series opener, but through no fault of the starters who combined for 12.1 innings of one-run ball. After the Royals tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the ninth, the two teams combined for 10 runs in the 10th and 11th innings.
Once again tonight, I expect the starters to be quite good. While I noted that the Royals’ lineup is watered down, keep in mind both Rizzo and Sanchez are out of the Yankees’ lineup while on the league’s health and safety protocol list.
Cortes has been very good this season both out of the rotation and bullpen while Lynch has been solid in terms of run-prevention.
Bullpens can be volatile as we witnessed last night, but the Yankees’ group has been good for much of the season despite a subpar group on the other side.
For me, I’m looking at a high total here. Seeing these teams eclipse 10 runs seems like a stretch in this pitching matchup, so I’ll go ahead and take the Under 10 tonight at quality +100 odds courtesy of BetUS!
As a recent addition to the GamblingSites.org team, James Peralta has been covering everything about casinos, sports, and laws that are specific to online gambling in Canada. James started writing about sports in 2007 during his first year at U of T Mississauga. ...
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