Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals square off against Collin McHugh (19-7, 3.89 ERA) and the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the Divisional Playoffs at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. The Royals come into this series riding a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 7:37 p.m. ET on Thursday, Oct. 8 and can be seen on FS1.
Ventura pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run, striking out 11 and walking three in a 5-1 win over the Twins. Lorenzo Cain (.307, 101 Rs, 16 HRs, 72 RBIs, 28 SBs) had another good game Sunday, going 3 for 4 with two runs and one RBI. McHugh went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run, striking out six and walking one in a 6-2 win over the Diamondbacks in his most recent start. Colby Rasmus (.239, 68 Rs, 26 HRs, 62 RBIs, 2 SBs) went 1 for 3 Tuesday with one run, one home run, and one RBI.
Kansas City is a -142 favorite against Houston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Royals have recorded an overall money line of +1,904 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 58-37. Kansas City is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 104 bases.
In games where it is the underdog, Houston has a 30-31 record and an overall money line of -295. Offensively, the Astros have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 4.5 runs per game by averaging 6.4 during that stretch. The Astros can change the game with one swing of the bat, leading the league with 232 home runs. The Astros are an excellent base stealing team with 123 stolen bases, ranking third in the MLB. Moving on to Houston's pitching staff and defense, the Astros allow just 3.8 runs per game, ranking them first in the AL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Astros are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season.
The Astros lead the season series, 4-2. Ventura (RHP) will be on the hill against the Astros, who have a 55-47 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - Hou, O/U - Over
Houston won its last game in a shutout, its 14th of the season. Kansas City has been shut out 11 times this season.
The Royals managed to give up six walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Astros who are coming in with an 11-4 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 14-57. The Astros have a 14-53 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Houston has hit 232 this season. Kansas City ranks 24th with 139 home runs.
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 (.736). Houston ranks in the top five at second with an OPS of .754.
When the Astros allow at least one home run, they are 35-54. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 41-51 record.