In the last of a three-game series between the Kansas City Royals (88-63) and the Seattle Mariners (74-78) at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium, Johnny Cueto (9-12, 3.43 ERA) and James Paxton (3-4, 3.70 ERA) take the mound. The Royals won the last game 4-3 and the series is currently tied 1-1. The game gets underway at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Sep. 24 and will air on FSKC and RTNW.
In his most recent outing, Cueto pitched 7.0 innings, giving up two runs, striking out four and walking one in a 5-4 loss to the Tigers. Lorenzo Cain (.307, 97 Rs, 16 HRs, 69 RBIs, 28 SBs) played well again yesterday, going 3 for 6 with two runs and one RBI. The Mariners were unsuccessful the last time Paxton pitched. He went 4.1 innings, allowing one run, striking out six and walking four in a 3-1 loss to the Rangers. Nelson Cruz (.310, 86 Rs, 42 HRs, 89 RBIs, 3 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one RBI.
Kansas City, a -166 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Seattle. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is set at eight runs. The Royals have a winning record of 53-35 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +1,548. The Royals come into the game with the fifth-ranked scoring offense in the AL, averaging 4.5 runs per game. The Royals are an exceptional hitting team with 9.2 hits per home game, one of the highest marks in the AL. The Royals are a nightmare for opponents on the bases with 99 steals, one of the highest totals in baseball. As for the pitching staff, the Royals rank fifth in the AL in ERA with a 3.81 team average.
Switching gears, the Mariners come into this game with a win percentage of .500 when playing as the underdog (32-32) and an overall money line of -1,227. They have played at the top of their game when rated as the underdog as of late. They managed a 4-1 record when playing as the underdog and an SU record of 6-4. The Mariners are known for their power, smashing 187 home runs. Seattle's pitching staff has allowed an average of 3.0 runs per game during the last 10 games, lower than their season average of 4.4.
The Royals are 3-2 against the Mariners this season. This game will feature Paxton (LHP) on the mound against the Royals, who have a 26-26 record when they take on a left-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Mariners will be the right-hander Cueto. They sport a 52-49 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
In their last game, the Mariners lost by a margin of one run. The Royals are 23-16 in one-run games. The Mariners have a 27-25 record in close games.
The Royals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Mariners have a 25-43 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 13-54. The Mariners have an 18-50 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 23rd in home runs, Kansas City has hit 130 this season. Seattle ranks fifth with 187 home runs.
Ranking 10th, Seattle is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.56 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at third with 9.29.
Ranking 14th, Seattle is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.728). Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .740.
When the Mariners allow at least one home run, they are 36-61. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 39-47 record.