Kansas City Royals vs. Arizona Diamondbacks
The Kansas City Royals look to get out of the basement in the AL Central while the Arizona Diamondbacks look to move into the lead in the NL West as the two teams meet for game one of their series at Kauffman Stadium. The Royal are -120 favorites over the Diamondbacks with an over/under run total set at 9.
The Royals got off to a strong start to the season but since the end of April, it’s been all downhill. The Royals have lost two in a row, are 5-5 in their last 10 games, 21-20 at home this season, and nine games back in the standings in the American League Central. As a team Kansas City is hitting .262 led by Billy Butler at .302, Wilson Betemit at .287, Eric Hosmer is hitting .283, and Alex Gordon is hitting .281. The Royals pitching staff has been the problem as they have a team ERA of 4.60 with the starters at 5.13 and the bullpen at 3.73. For game one against the D-Backs Kansas City starts Luke Hochevar who has lost four of his last five decisions. For the season Hochevar has allowed 97 hits and 53 earned runs while striking out 42 in 98 innings of work.
The Arizona Diamondbacks are one of the great turnaround stories this season but they will be a bigger story if they can make the post season. The Diamondbacks are a half of a game back in the National League West, 17-17 on the road, and 5-5 in their last 10 games overall. As a team Arizona is hitting .252 with Justin Upton hitting .302, Miguel Montero hitting .279, and Stephen Drew hitting .278. The Diamondbacks pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.97 with the starters at 4.00 and the bullpen is at 3.90. For game one at KC Arizona starts Joe Saunders who has lost both of his last two starts. For the season Saunders has allowed 92 hits and 43 earned runs while striking out 49 in 86 innings of work.
Kansas City is 9-2 in their last 11 interleague games against a left handed starter, 2-6 in their last eight home games, and 1-4 in Hochevar’s last five starts. Arizona is 9-2 in their last 11 road games against a right handed starter, 1-5 in their last six games against a team with a losing record, and 1-11 in Saunders’ last 12 road starts. Arizona is 4-1 in their last five games in Kansas City.
The Royals pitching has been killing them but I think their bats get it done for them at home in this one. Take the Royals tonight minus the 120.
Kansas City Royals -120 Arizona Diamondbacks