It’s been a less-than-ideal season so far for these two AL Central teams, and they will meet tonight in Kansas City for the start of a three-game series. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
After winning two straight over the Padres, the Royals returned home for a series against the White Sox and could not build off their momentum, as they got swept. Kansas City scored a combined three runs over the three games and fell 5-2 in yesterday’s matchup, as they only managed to pick up three hits while striking out ten times.
Brady Singer will look to get the Royals back in the win column tonight as he’ll take the mound for his 10th start of the year. In 45.7 innings, the righty has pitched to a 7.09 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 17 walks to go along with his 3-4 record. Singer picked up his first win since April 25th in his most recent outing as he went six innings with three strikeouts and two earned runs allowed against the Padres.
Tonight Singer will face a Tigers team that is off a series loss to the Nationals, including a 6-4 loss yesterday. Detroit picked up six hits and left 30 runners on base, which meant they left 15 or more runners on base in all three games of the series. The only real offensive highlight for Detroit yesterday came off the bat of Nick Maton as he left the yard for the fourth time this season.
On the hill for Detroit tonight will be veteran right-hander Michael Lorenzen. In six starts and 34 innings up to this point, Lorenzen has pitched to a 3.44 ERA with 26 strikeouts and nine walks. The veteran has turned in three straight impressive starts, allowing one run or less in all three of them, and in his most recent outing, he racked up seven strikeouts in six innings.
Michael Lorenzen’s out total is currently set at 17.5, and I’ll be taking the over, which is priced at (-120). Lorenzen is averaging 17 outs per game but has gone over this total in his last three starts, averaging 98.25 pitches per game over his previous four starts. He will face a struggling Royals lineup tonight, so I think it’s an excellent matchup for him to exceed this total again.
Kansas City is currently 26th in wRC+, 27th in OBP, and 28th in BAbip against righties at home, so the advantage of being in their home ballpark will not make much of a difference tonight. The Royals are also in the bottom third of the league in average pitches seen per at bat, so not only are they struggling to get on base, but they are not making opposing pitchers work deep into counts.
Lorenzen is in the 71st percentile in walk percentage, so he will not be one to issue a lot of free passes to extend innings. Combining that with his 47.6% groundball percentage is a good mix for working deep into games. Lorenzen has looked solid over his past few outing and seems to have figured some things out, so I think this is a great spot to target him.
Michael Lorenzen Over 17.5 Outs (-120)