Here we go again with another inter-league matchup. The Royals come into this two-game series hoping for a drastic turnaround to their season, while the Cardinals are hoping they can win their first series in three weeks and make a push in a loaded NL Central race.
Moneyline – KC +163, STL -173
Runline – KC +1.5 (-135), STL -1.5 (+125)
O/U – 9 (O -105, U -105)
First Pitch – 8:15 PM ET, New Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO
Kansas City Royals
There’s no way around it: this season has been a royal pain for Kansas City baseball fans. Their 5.19 team ERA (second worst in MLB) is a primary source of trouble that their 209 runs (17th overall) have had a hard time overcoming. Things look no brighter with Homer Bailey (4-4, 5.36) on the mound against a good St. Louis offense. However, if you like speed, you’ve come to the right place. KC leads the majors with 21 triples and 47 stolen bases. If anything, seeing guys like Billy Hamilton and Adalberto Mondesi disappear in a cloud of dust is fun to watch.
St. Louis Cardinals
The Cardinals have been in a funk of late, so they come into this homestand looking to rebound. 3-7 in its last 10 games, St. Louis has seen the Cubs and the Brewers rocket past them in the NL Central. However, not all is lost. They enter this two-game series with a +20 run differential, a .257 team BA that is 4th-best in the majors, and a respectable 4.39 ERA. Michael Wacha (3-1, 4.93) looks to lower that average against a struggling Royals squad.
Analysis & Prediction
On the surface, this game seems to be an easy pick—while the Cardinals have been solid all year, sitting one game over .500 and 4.5 games out of first in a tough division, the Royals have struggled in a weaker AL Central and are miles below a respectable record. However, the last couple of weeks have been tough on the Redbirds, as they’ve dropped their last five series and dropped to fourth in the division. Record is not enough to call the game. Despite recent results, the Cardinals have decidedly better numbers with runs per game, ERA, batting average, etc. I’ll go with the Cardinals in this one and with offenses averaging 4.45 (KC) and 5.04 (STL) runs per game, the over.