Jeremy Guthrie (8-7, 5.84 ERA) and Garrett Richards (11-9, 3.51 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Kansas City Royals (68-45) and the Los Angeles Angels (59-54) at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 13 and can be seen on FSKC and FSW.
Guthrie pitched 5.2 innings in his most recent start, surrendering six runs, striking out one and walking one in a 7-6 win over the White Sox. Lorenzo Cain (.318, 74 Rs, 12 HRs, 51 RBIs, 21 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run and one stolen base. Richards went 6.0 innings, surrendering three runs, striking out seven and walking one in a 5-0 defeat to the Orioles in his last outing. Albert Pujols (.258, 63 Rs, 30 HRs, 66 RBIs, 4 SBs) has been successful at the plate, going 3 for 6 yesterday with one stolen base.
Los Angeles is a narrow -106 favorite over Kansas City. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently eight runs. The Royals have an overall money line of +2,209 and a record as the underdog of 30-23. Kansas City strikes out the least of any team in the AL, with only 5.8 per game. Turning to the pitching and defensive side, it's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Royals. The 3.7 runs that Kansas City's pitchers allow per game makes them the top staff in the AL. The Royals are the fourth-best team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.2 hits per game so far this season.
Over in the other dugout, Los Angeles is coming in with an overall money line of +four and an impressive record of 42-26 as the favorite. Offensively, the Angels have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 4.1 runs per game by averaging 2.8 during that stretch. Los Angeles is excellent at not striking out n the road with just 7.1 per game, ranking third in the AL. When it comes to issuing walks, the Angels have the second-fewest in the AL with an average of just 2.6 walks allowed per game.
The Royals have the edge in the season series, 3-0. The Royals have a great 26-11 record at home (46-27 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Richards takes the mound. Guthrie (RHP) will be on the hill against the Angels, who have a 43-42 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - LAA, O/U - Over
The Angels lost their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Royals are 18-10. The Angels are 19-14 in close games this season.
The Royals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Angels have a 21-34 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 9-37. The Angels have an 11-39 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league at 27th when it comes to home runs, hitting 89 this season. Los Angeles ranks in the top 10 at eighth with 122.
Ranking 13th, Los Angeles is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.22 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at second with 9.17.
Ranking 21st, Los Angeles is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.700). Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at ninth with an OPS of .729.
The Angels are 30-44 when they allow at least one home run. The Royals perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 29-32 record.