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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals Free Pick - 9/1/13

Kansas City Royals (69-66) at Toronto Blue Jays (62-74)

MLB Baseball: Sunday, September 1, 2013 at 1:07 pm (Rogers Centre)

James Shields (R) (9-8) (3.143) vs. JA Happ (L) (3-4) (5.461)

The Line: Toronto Blue Jays +128 / Kansas City Royals -138 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-Kansas City, SNET

The Kansas City Royals hope to keep their postseason hopes alive by knocking off the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday.

There are a few teams that are still mathematically alive for a postseason berth and Kansas City is one of them. However, the Royals are either winning or losing and right now they have dropped back-to-back contests after winning five in a row, which has been the norm for this team. The bats and arms have performed well in the victories, but the offense never got going in a 4-2 loss at Toronto on Saturday. Jeremy Guthrie gave up a single run over seven frames, with Kelven Herrera taking the loss, with two runs plated in only 1/3 of an inning. Eight hits and two BB didn't get the job done, with RBI singles by Eric Hosmer and Alcides Escobar gave KC a 2-0 lead. Kansas City pins their playoff hopes on the right arm of James Shields, who faces Toronto on Sunday. Shields has recorded four consecutive quality starts, in which he has gone 3-1 in over 28 innings.

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Toronto Blue Jays vs. Kansas City Royals Free Pick - 9/1/13

Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sport

The Blue Jays continue to play the role of spoiler to perfection after knocking off the Royals on Saturday for win number five in the last six times out. The work on the mound has been outstanding in the victories, with that trend continuing on Saturday. As I said yesturday, if RA Dickey has his knuckleball working, the Royals would be in trouble and that proved to be the case. Dickey allowed both runs on seven hits and a pair of bases on balls thrrough eight innings, while striking out six. The bats totaled ten hits and walked three times, with four different players driving in runs with four scoring. Lefty JA Happ is scheduled to square off with Kansas City on Sunday, while breaking in to the win column after consecutive defeats. Happ has given up nine runs on ten hits and seven BB, including three homers.

It's tough to back Kansas City because they tend to win or lose in bunches, but I believe they have the edge here. I also believe a loss here signals the beginning of the end, so Big Game Shields has to come through...

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