Lance McCullers (6-7, 3.22 ERA) and the Houston Astros square off against Yordano Ventura (13-9, 4.19 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals in Game 4 of the Divisional Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. Action begins at 1:07 p.m. ET on Monday, Oct. 12 and can be seen on FS1.
McCullers pitched 5.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering three runs (one unearned), striking out six and walking two in a 5-3 defeat to the Diamondbacks. Colby Rasmus (.244, 70 Rs, 28 HRs, 66 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 1 yesterday. Ventura went 2.0 innings, surrendering three runs, striking out two and walking one in a 5-2 defeat to the Astros in Game 1 of the Divisional Playoffs. Kendrys Morales (.291, 83 Rs, 24 HRs, 108 RBIs) went 1 for 3 yesterday.
Houston is a -140 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Astros have an overall money line of -295 and a record as the favorite of 56-45. The Astros have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 6.4 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.5 runs per game. The Astros lead the MLB in home runs with 236. Houston is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 124 bases. As for the pitchers, opposing offenses that come to Minute Maid Park have been stifled by the Astros, who have a team ERA of only 3.17 at home. The Astros are the fifth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.198 so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Kansas City has a 37-30 record and an overall money line of +1,904. The Royals are an excellent base stealing team with 106 stolen bases, ranking fifth in the MLB. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Royals are fifth in the AL on the road with an average of 8.5 hits allowed per away game.
The Astros lead the season series, 6-3. The Astros have a 55-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Ventura takes the mound. McCullers (RHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a 64-41 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
Houston has won 60% (43-29) of its games when leading after seven innings. However, Kansas City has won 63% (41-24) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Royals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Astros who are heading in with a 43-23 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Astros are 67-18. The Royals have a 76-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking seventh, Kansas City sits in the top 10 of the league in runs, scoring 733 this season. Houston ranks in the top five at fifth with 745.
Ranking 27th, Kansas City is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 391 this season. Houston ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 502.
The Astros are 76-47 when they hit at least one home run. The Royals perform similarly when they hit one or more homers with a 65-33 record.