Wade Miley (9-9, 4.58 ERA) and Danny Duffy (6-5, 4.03 ERA) take the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Boston Red Sox (54-66) and the Kansas City Royals (73-46) at Fenway Park. The Royals come into this series riding a five-game winning streak. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 20 and can be seen on FSKC and NESN.
Miley pitched 7.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs, striking out eight and walking three in a 22-10 win over the Mariners. David Ortiz (.268, 55 Rs, 26 HRs, 75 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Duffy went 6.0 innings, surrendering one run and striking out two in a 4-1 win over the Angels in his most recent start. Lorenzo Cain (.311, 75 Rs, 12 HRs, 54 RBIs, 24 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with two RBIs.
Kansas City is a slim -110 favorite over Boston. The Over/Under (O/U) is sitting at nine runs for this matchup. The Red Sox have an overall money line of -1,858 and a record as the underdog of 22-28. The Red Sox have seen an uptick in scoring as of late, averaging 8.5 runs during the last 10 games compared to their season average of 4.5 runs per game. Boston is one of the best in the AL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.0 per game. Boston's pitching staff has been doing poorly against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, allowing an average of 6.2 runs per game, well above its season average of 4.9.
In the other locker room, Kansas City is coming in with an overall money line of +2,352 and an impressive record of 41-22 as the favorite. They played solid baseball as the favorite over their last 10 games with a 7-1 record, and an 8-2 record SU. The Royals are tough outs for opponents, ranking third in the AL with 9.2 hits per game. The Royals are an excellent base stealing team with 82 stolen bases, ranking fifth in the MLB.
The Red Sox lead the season series, 2-1. The Red Sox have a 13-20 record against left-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Duffy takes the mound. Miley (LHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a 23-18 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Red Sox are 15-16. The Royals are 20-11 in close games this season.
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.
The Royals managed to give up five walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Red Sox who are heading in with an 18-11 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Red Sox are 43-7. 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 520 this season. Boston ranks in the top five at third with 544.
Ranking 29th, Kansas City is near the bottom of the league in walks, notching 269 this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 361.
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 49-18 record.