Dallas Keuchel (21-8, 2.42 ERA) and the Houston Astros go up against Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals in Game 3 of the Divisional Playoffs at Minute Maid Park. The Royals won the last game 5-4, and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game starts at 4:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, Oct. 11 and will air on MLBN.
In Game 1 of the Wild Card Elimination Game, Keuchel pitched 6.0 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out seven and walking one in a 3-0 victory over the Yankees. Colby Rasmus (.243, 70 Rs, 28 HRs, 66 RBIs, 3 SBs) played well again Friday, going 2 for 3 with one run, one home run, and two RBIs. The Royals were victorious over the Twins 6-1 the last time Volquez pitched. He went 2.0 innings, allowing zero runs, striking out three and walking two. Kendrys Morales (.291, 83 Rs, 24 HRs, 108 RBIs) went 1 for 4 Friday.
Houston is a heavy -180 favorite at home and the Over/Under (O/U) for this matchup is set at seven runs. The Astros are 56-45 as the favorite and have an overall money line of -295. The most recent 10-game stretch for the Astros has gone great. Over that span, Houston is averaging 6.4 runs per game, well over their season average of 4.5. The Astros are a power hitting team with an MLB-best 235 home runs. The Astros are a nightmare on the bases for opponents with 124 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. As for the pitching staff, the Astros lead the AL in home ERA with a 3.17 team average. The Astros are fifth in the league in WHIP at 1.198.
Across the field, the Royals have a record of 37-30 when they are the underdog and are +1,904 overall with the money line. The Royals have racked up 106 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Switching gears to Kansas City's pitching staff, they average just 8.5 hits allowed per road game, fifth-best in the AL.
The Astros have gotten the best of the Royals in head-to-head matchups this season, going 5-3. This game will feature Volquez (RHP) on the mound against the Astros, who have a 55-47 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Royals will be the left-hander Keuchel. They sport a 31-26 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
The Royals won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Astros are 21-30. The Royals are 24-17 in close games this season.
After a weak showing last week where they got in eight hits, the Astros need to step it up. The Royals have a record of 70-19 when opponents get eight hits or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 14-58. The Astros have a 14-54 record when opponents outhit them.
Houston ranks at the top of the league when it comes to home runs with 235 this season. Kansas City ranks near the bottom at 22nd with 142.
Ranking 13th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.41 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at second with 9.24.
Ranking 10th, Kansas City is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.737). Houston ranks in the top five at second with an OPS of .754.
The Royals are 42-52 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Astros are 36-55 when they allow at least one homer.