Kansas City Royals vs. Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels and the Kansas City Royals begin their weekend series in Anaheim. The Angels are -155 favorites over the Royals with an over/under run total set at 8.
The Los Angeles Angels spent much of the end of last season preparing for this season and while they have shown how that has worked for them in spurts, overall they just a third place team in the four team American League West. The Angels come into this series as losers of five games in a row, 14-18 at home, and five and a half games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West. As a team Los Angeles is hitting just .239 led by Howie Kendrick at .301, Erick Aybar at .296, Maicer Izturis at .292, and Alberto Callespo at .290. As a team the Angels pitching staff has a team ERA of 3.44 with the starters checking in at 3.36 and the bullpen at 3.61. For game one against the Royals Los Angeles starts Ervin Santana who lost last time out after putting together a three game winning streak. For the season Santana has allowed 82 hits and 40 earned runs while striking out 69 in 83.2 innings of work.
The Kansas City Royals are moving in the wrong direction in the standings and at the pace they have been going it won’t take much more than a bad series for the Royals to hit the basement of the American League Central. The Royals are 4-6 in their last 10 games, 6-16 on the road this season, and eight and a half games back in the AL Central. As a team Kansas City is hitting .276 with Eric Hosmer igniting the streak at .309, Billy Butler at .301, Wilson Betemit at .289, and Alex Gordon at .284. The Royals pitching staff have a team ERA of 4.71 with the starters at 5.27 and the bullpen at 3.80, not numbers that are going to get it done at the Major League level. For game one at LA Kansas City starts Jeff Francis who isn’t having his best year as a pro. For the season Francis has allowed 96 hits and 41 earned runs while striking out 40 in 81.2 innings of work.
Los Angeles is 0-4 in their last four games against a left handed starter. 5-2 in their last seven games following an off day, and 4-0 in Santana’s last four starts following a loss their previous game. Kansas City is 8-19 in their last 27 games overall, 1-4 in their last five games following a win, and 0-5 in Francis’ last five road starts. Kansas City is 16-35 in their last 51 games in Los Angeles.
Both of these teams have the ability to swing the bat and the total looks to be a shade low and we’ll take advantage of it. I’m taking the over 8.