Lance McCullers (3-2, 2.33 ERA) and the Houston Astros (44-34) square off against Joe Blanton (2-0, 1.73 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (44-28) in a game that has the potential to be low scoring. This is the first of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Jun. 29 and can be seen on FSN-KC and ROOT-SW.
McCullers pitched 6.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering one run, striking out six and walking three in a 2-1 defeat to the Angels. George Springer (.266, 40 Rs, 12 HRs, 27 RBIs, 13 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. Against the Astros, Blanton is 3-2 with a 3.29 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, and 51 strikeouts. Lorenzo Cain (.293, 44 Rs, 6 HRs, 33 RBIs, 15 SBs) went 1 for 1 yesterday with one run.
Houston is a -129 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Astros have an overall money line of +764 and a record as the favorite of 21-18. The Astros lead the MLB in home runs with 110. Houston is one of the best in the MLB in terms of steals, swiping 61 bases. Crossing over to the pitching staff, the Astros are the second-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.18 so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Kansas City has a 19-13 record and an overall money line of +1,383. They played solid baseball as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 4-1 record, and a 7-3 record SU. The The Royals allow just three runs per road game, ranking them third in the AL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Royals are second in the AL with an average of 7.9 hits allowed per game.
The Astros have a 28-18 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Blanton takes the mound. McCullers (RHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have a very good 31-16 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - HOU, O/U - Over
Houston has won 58% (18-13) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won 70% (19-8) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Astros are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Royals have a 28-22 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 3-23. The Astros have a 9-23 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking first in home runs, Houston has hit 110 this season. Kansas City ranks 27th with 55 home runs.
Ranking 13th, Houston is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.06 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at second with 9.35.
Houston and Kansas City both rank in the top 10 of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Houston sits at eighth with an OPS of .733 and Kansas City ranks 10th with an OPS of .730.
The Royals are 18-20 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Astros are 15-24 when they allow at least one homer.