Vincent Velasquez (0-0, 3.72 ERA) and the Houston Astros (46-34) go up against Edinson Volquez (8-4, 3.18 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (44-30) in the last of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. The Astros won the last game 4-0 and Houston leads the series 2-0. The game gets underway at 8:10 p.m. ET on Wednesday, Jul. 1 and will air on FSN-KC and ROOT-SW.
In his last start, Velasquez pitched 6.1 innings, allowing two runs, striking out two and walking one in a 3-2 loss to the Yankees. George Springer (.263, 42 Rs, 13 HRs, 29 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 3 yesterday with two runs, one home run, and two RBIs. In his pitching opportunities against the Astros, Volquez is 6-0 with a 2.09 ERA. He gets a less-than-stellar Houston offense that's batting just .240. Lorenzo Cain (.296, 44 Rs, 6 HRs, 33 RBIs, 15 SBs) has been doing well offensively for the Royals, going 3 for 4 yesterday.
Houston is favored by a small -115 margin in its matchup against Kansas City. The teams combine to set the Over/Under (O/U) at eight runs. When playing as the favorite, the Astros have a 22-18 record and overall money line at +864. The Astros lead the majors in home runs with 113. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking third in all of baseball with 61 steals. As for the pitching staff, the Astros don't allow many hitters to get on base, leading the league with a 1.17 WHIP.
Moving on to the away team, the Royals come into this game with a win percentage of .588 when playing as the underdog (20-14) and an overall money line of +1,409. Over the past 10 matchups, they are 6-4 SU and have played well as the underdog with a 5-2 record. The last 10 games have really brought the worst out of the Kansas City pitchers. They allowed 4.7 runs per game during that span, which is higher than their season average of 3.6. They also allow just 7.9 hits per game, good for third in the AL.
So far this season, the Astros are 2-0 against the Royals. The Astros will take on a right-hander (Volquez) in this game and have a 29-18 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. The right-handed Velasquez will take the mound against the Royals. Against righty starters this season, they've racked up an impressive 32-17 record.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
Houston earned its seventh shutout of the season in its last game. Kansas City has been shut out six times this season.
The Royals are 3-1 in games that go into extra innings. Meanwhile, the Astros are 3-3 in such matchups.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Royals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Astros have a 7-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 3-24. The Astros have a 10-23 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Houston has hit 113 this season. Kansas City ranks 26th with 56 home runs.
Ranking 13th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.04 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at second with 9.27.
Ranking 11th, Kansas City is in the top half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.726). Houston ranks in the top 10 at eighth with an OPS of .734.
The Royals are 18-22 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Astros are 16-24 when they allow at least one homer.