Kansas City Royals (22-52) at Houston Astros (50-26)
|Date & Time||Friday June 22, 2018, 8:10 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Houston Astros -300 / Kansas City Royals +275 --- Over/Under: 8.5
The Kansas City Royals and the Houston Astros meet in game one of a three game set from Minute Maid Park in MLB action on Friday.
The Kansas City Royals are in dire need of a feel good win after losing nine straight and 15 of their last 16 games following a 3-2 loss in the series finale against Texas on Wednesday. Mike Moustakas hit a solo home run while Hunter Dozier went 2 for 4 with a double and an RBI as well to round out the scoring for the Royals in the loss. Alex Gordon went 2 for 4 with a double as well, while Salvador Perez and Adalberto Mondesi each added a base knock as well. Jakob Junis ended up with the loss after giving up three runs on five hits while walking and striking out four apiece over six innings of work, falling to 5-8 this season. Danny Duffy will start game one and is 3-7 with a 5.55 ERA and 69 strikeouts this season. In his career, Duffy is 2-3 with a 5.29 ERA and 27 strikeouts against Houston.
The Houston Astros will be looking to stay hot after winning 13 of their last 14 games, including a 5-1 win in their series finale against the Rays on Wednesday. Jose Altuve led the ‘Stros, going 3 for 4 with a double, a pair of solo home runs and two RBIs. Alex Bregman and George Springer each belted solo homers while Tony Kemp added an RBI as well to round out the scoring for the Astros in the win. Evan Gattis added a double while Carlos Correa, Yuli Gurriel, Josh Reddick and Brian McCann each chipped in base hits as well in the winning effort. Charlie Morton gave up just an unearned run on two hits while walking and whiffing four each over six innings of work to get the win and improve to 9-1 this season. Dallas Keuchel will start game one and is 4-8 with a 4.15 ERA and 71 strikeouts this season. In his career, Keuchel is 4-1 with a 2.89 ERA and 34 strikeouts against Kansas City.
Kansas City is 1-15 in their last 16 games overall and 4-12 in Duffy’s last 16 starts while the under is 5-1 in their last 6 road games. Houston is 40-18 in their last 58 home games and 17-7 in Keuchel’s last 24 home starts against a team with a losing record while the over is 7-0 in their last 7 games against the AL Central. Kansas City is 0-4 in the last 4 meetings between these two teams.
I’ve gone back and forth on this pick a lot, not because of picking a side because there’s no backing the Royals right now no matter how much plus money you get. It’s a matter of if I feel that Keuchel has turned enough of a corner to lay the run with the Astros. All in all, I think it’s a lot of juice to lay given Keuchel’s form this season, but this pitching matchup happened a few days ago with Houston banging out seven runs, six earned against Duffy in a 10-2 win. I think we will see some of the same on Friday, so I’ll lay the -1.5 handicap with the Astros in another huge win.