Kansas City Royals vs. Chicago White Sox: Analysis & Best Bets – 4/8/2021

By: Jack O’Keefe (@jpokeefe1s) & Trent Pruitt (@trentbets)

Jack and I will be making the trip up to the south side today for the home opener as the White Sox gear up to host the Royals for three games. It’s Lance Lynn making his second start in a Chicago uniform while the Royals will look to Brad Keller to get them back into the win column. Weatherwise, we’ll be looking at a 50% chance of showers and maybe see the back end of that storm system. It’ll be just about 60 degrees and it looks like 13 mph winds coming in from right field. Let’s dive into our analysis and best bets for this one! It’s going to be a great day at the ballpark.

Money Line: KC +153 | CWS -166

Spread: KC +1.5 (-130) | CWS -1.5 (+110)

Total: 9 (O -110, U -110)

First Pitch: 3:10 CDT | Guaranteed Rate Field | Chicago, IL

Jack’s Analysis & Best Bet

The White Sox will look to bounce back this afternoon after a brutal loss to the Mariners yesterday afternoon. After taking a 4-1 lead in the top of the sixth inning, the White Sox went to their bullpen to bring the day to a close for the starting pitcher, Dallas Keuchel. Keuchel went five strong innings before getting pulled in the sixth inning.  This is where things began to unravel for the White Sox following his departure. Matt Foster was unable to get out of the inning, and he only recorded two outs while allowing five hits and five runs to score. It is troubling early on to see the White Sox get leads in a game, only to have them squandered in the late stages of the ballgame. Should the White Sox make the postseason, this must change. Lance Lynn gets the nod for the White Sox today, where he will look to go five or six strong innings against the Royals. Lynn last faced the Royals in 2019, where he allowed just one run on seven innings pitched.

Brad Keller will oppose Lynn on the bump for Kansas City this afternoon. Keller was blasted by the Rangers last Thursday, allowing six earned runs on nine hits. Amazingly, the Rangers still won the game despite the lackluster start by Keller. Keller was an exceptional pitcher last season for Kansas City, so there is reason to believe he will shake off this clunker of a start he had in Texas. The Royals are a legitimate top-10 offensive team in baseball, so do not be surprised to see them hovering around .500 for most of the season this year. There is still work that needs to be done in the pitching department, but as of now, the Royals have no problem playing “slugfest” type of baseball games.

I am going to go with the under 9 runs for my best bet in this game. Historically, the Royals have seen the under hit when Keller is on the mound. In his nine starts last season, the Royals hit the under in six out of the nine starts made by Brad Keller. Lance Lynn has been no stranger to having the under hit when he toes the mound as well. The White Sox have hit the under in four out of the last six starts made by Lance Lynn. After the initial run outburst in Arlington, the offense is spurting a bit for Kansas City, seeing the Royals only generate five runs in two games against Cleveland. The sample size is limited, but I think the dreary weather conditions in Chicago, a slightly cold Kansas City offense, and a dominant pitcher like Lance Lynn who can eat up innings is the perfect recipe for a low scoring game.

The Pick: Under 9 (-110)

-Jack O’Keefe (@jpokeefe1s)

Jack’s 2021 MLB picks: (3-2)

Trent’s Analysis & Best Bet

I’m taking it to the prop sheet this afternoon and this should be a fun one to follow along with. I’m rolling with Luis Robert to have more total bases than Whit Merrifield at +110 odds for 1.5 units. The first thing that pops out to me is that Merrifield is only 2-16 off of Lance Lynn with two base knocks. That’s two total bases over 16 AB’s. He’s also coming off of an 0-4 outing in their finale in Cleveland yesterday. Whit’s one of my favorite players to watch in MLB because he’s so electric, but he’s running into a guy who he doesn’t hit well at all. On the flip side, LuBob hasn’t faced Brad Keller yet in his career. We all know Luis Robert is a gamer and very capable of racking up a few knocks. But that’s not good analysis on my part. So let’s look a little deeper. When you head over the Baseball Savant page of Brad Keller and the Fangraphs splits page of Luis Robert we notice a couple of things. We see that Brad Keller is a sinker ball hurler who relied on the pitch 41.2% of the time in his last outing. Historically, that number ranges around the mid-20’s for him. But when we cruise over to Robert’s career splits, we see that he performs well against the sinker, posting a career BABIP of .400 and .750 this year specifically. Of course, he might not throw him a sinker at all when he’s up to bat. But Luis is still a capable hitter so I feel good backing Robert on the plus money payout. Let’s have a day. I’m excited to get back to the ballpark! 

The Pick: Luis Robert to have more total bases than Whit Merrifield (+110)

-Trent Pruitt (@trentbets

Trent’s MLB Betting Record

2021 MLB Season: 5-6 (-3.22 units). A $100 bettor has lost $321.55 this MLB szn.

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