Steven Wright (13-5, 3.01 ERA) and Ian Kennedy (8-9, 3.58 ERA) are on the hill in the first of a three-game series between the Boston Red Sox (71-56) and the Kansas City Royals (66-61) at Fenway Park. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 26 and can be seen on NESN and FSKC.
Wright pitched 9.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering zero runs, striking out nine and walking one in a 9-0 win over the Dodgers. Mookie Betts (.314, 98 Rs, 28 HRs, 91 RBIs, 21 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with one RBI. Kennedy went 8.0 innings, surrendering zero runs and striking out six in a 10-0 win over the Twins in his most recent start.
Boston is a -147 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at nine runs. The Red Sox have an overall money line of -187 and a record as the favorite of 53-39. Boston is an impressive 5-2 as the favorite over its last 10 games. The Red Sox lead the MLB in extra base hits with 463. Boston's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 3.1 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.5.
In games where it is the underdog, Kansas City has a 33-49 record and an overall money line of +737. They played solid baseball as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 5-1 record and a 9-1 record SU. Offensively, the Royals have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.9 runs per game by averaging 5.0 during that stretch. The Royals allow 4.1 runs per game, but have improved upon those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 1.6 runs per game during that span.
The Royals lead the season series, 2-1. The Red Sox have a 55-42 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kennedy takes the mound. Wright (RHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a 50-46 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - BOS, O/U - Under
Kansas City recorded at least two errors for the 15th time this season.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Red Sox are going to have to step it up if they want to win this matchup. The Royals have a 24-1 record in games where opponents scored one run or less.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 8-41. The Red Sox have an 8-35 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league at 27th when it comes to home runs, hitting 109 this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 with 161.
Boston ranks at the top of the league when it comes to hits with 9.91 per game this season. Kansas City ranks in the top five with 8.97.
Boston ranks at the top of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage of .816. Kansas City ranks near the bottom at 26th with an OPS of .712.
When the Royals allow at least one home run, they are 41-49, well-matched with the Red Sox who are 42-45 when allowing at least one homer.