In the second of a four-game series between the Boston Red Sox (55-66) and the Kansas City Royals (73-47) at Fenway Park, Henry Owens (1-1, 6.19 ERA) and Johnny Cueto (9-7, 2.46 ERA) take the mound. The Red Sox won the last game 4-1 and Boston leads the series 1-0. The game gets underway at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 21 and will air on FSKC and NESN.
In his last start, Owens pitched 6.0 innings, allowing seven runs, striking out 10 and walking one in a 10-8 loss to the Mariners. The Royals were victorious over the Angels 9-4 the last time Cueto pitched. He went 8.0 innings, allowing one run and striking out four.
Boston, a +149 underdog, will look to capitalize at home against Kansas City. The matchup currently has an eight-run Over/Under (O/U). When playing as the underdog, the Red Sox have a 22-28 record and overall money line at -1,858. The most recent 10-game stretch for the Red Sox has gone great. Over that span, Boston is averaging 8.5 runs per game, well over their season average of 4.5. The Red Sox typically don't swing at bad pitches, which has led to an impressive 3.0 walks per game. Boston's pitching staff will be looking to pick it up in this one after recent struggles. The Red Sox have given up an average of 6.2 runs to opponents in their last 10 games, above their season average of 4.9 runs per game.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Royals come into this game with a solid win percentage of .656 when playing as the favorite (42-22) and an overall money line of +2,452. They have played at the top of their game when rated as favorite recently. They managed a 7-1 record when playing as the favorite and an SU record of 8-2. One of the top hitting teams in the AL are the Royals, who average 9.2 hits per game. Kansas City is a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in the MLB with 82 stolen bases.
In their previous four games this season, the Red Sox have a 3-1 record. This game will feature Cueto (RHP) on the mound against the Red Sox, who have a 41-46 record when they take on a right-handed starter. The left-handed Owens will take the mound against the Royals, who have a 23-18 record against lefty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
Boston has won 47% (28-31) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won 64% (29-16) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Royals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Red Sox have a 19-2 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they outhit their opponents, the Red Sox are 44-7. The Royals have a 58-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 11th, Kansas City sits in the top half of the league in runs, scoring 521 this season. Boston ranks in the top five at third with 548.
Ranking 30th, Kansas City is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 270 this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 363.
When the Red Sox hit at least one home run, they are 40-38. When the Royals hit at least one homer, they have a 49-19 record.