Following a rough series in Miami in which they got swept, the Kansas City Royals will continue their road trip tonight as they square off with the Baltimore Orioles. The Royals will be coming off a rest day, while the Orioles finished a series in Milwaukee yesterday afternoon. We’ll preview game one of this weekend's matchup before going over which side I’ll be backing.
The Orioles were in danger of being swept by the Brewers yesterday but avoided that by picking up a 6-3 win to conclude their six-game road trip. Baltimore got a strong start from Kyle Bradish, who went five innings and struck out ten while allowing three earned runs. The righty did not get the win, however, as the Orioles scored all six of their runs in the last three innings, with big home runs coming from Gunnar Henderson and Ramon Urias.
A big reason Baltimore was also able to secure the win was their phenomenal bullpen, which threw four shutout innings yesterday with only two hits allowed. As the Orioles look to rest their bullpen a bit tonight and start the series strong, they will send Tyler Wells to the mound. The right-hander has been a pleasant surprise this season, as he has a 3.29 ERA in 68.3 innings of work, and over his last five starts, he has recorded at least seven punchouts per game.
Wells will take on a Royals lineup that scored six runs in their opening game with the Marlins but then proceeded to score just one run in each of the remaining two games. In their most recent loss on Wednesday night, the Royals managed just three hits while striking out ten times. A Vinnie Pasquantino double and Nick Pratto RBI were the only notable offensive performances from the game.
Getting the ball for Kansas City tonight will be left-hander Daniel Lynch, who is set to make his third start of the year. In his 10.3 innings of work, Lynch has pitched to a 4.35 ERA with 13 strikeouts and four walks. The lefty took a loss in his most recent outing despite strikeout seven in five innings, as he allowed five runs (three earned) on six hits.
The Baltimore Orioles run-line of (-1.5) is currently priced at (+105), and I’ll be backing them for my play tonight. I bet against the Royals' spread twice in their series against the Marlins and was successful, so I will be dipping back into that well tonight as they take on an Orioles team that is 17-13 ATS when favored. Kansas City’s offense has struggled mightily on the road this season, and now they run into a pitcher who's been impressive as of late.
Over the past month, the Royals rank 27th in wRC+, 28th in wOBA, and 28th in OPS against right-handed pitching on the road. This Kansas City offense faced Wells earlier in the season and had success, but since then, he has made some tweaks, and they have paid off. The righty had a season-high in fastball usage in that outing, but since then, he’s seen his expected wOBA dip down to .293 and finds himself in the 82nd percentile in expected batting average.
Baltimore’s offense is 15th in wRC+ and 14th in OPS at home over the last month. The Orioles put up 24 runs on the Royals' pitching staff earlier in the season, and now they take on a starter in Daniel Lynch, whose most-thrown pitch has an expected batting average of .322.
Baltimore Orioles (-1.5)(+105)