The Kansas City Royals are probably going to monopolize the starting lineup for the American League All-Star Game that is coming up in a matter of weeks. And some, including those in the organization, feel they deserve it with the way they have played in following up their AL crown from last season. Currently they are the leaders in the American League Central, and on Tuesday they will line up to face the Seattle Mariners in the second game of a scheduled three-game series beginning at 10:10 PM ET at Safeco Field.
The Royals check in at 40-27, 3.5 games ahead of the Minnesota Twins in the division. They were able to score a victory last night against Seattle's ace, Felix Hernandez, who got very little run support (and only two hits) in the 4-1 KC win. The Royals have now won six out of their last eight games, and they will send Jeremy Guthrie to the mound against southpaw Mike Montgomery, who has never faced Kansas City as a starter.
In the baseball betting odds posted on this game by the people at BetAnySports, the Royals are slight favorite on the road:
Kansas City Royals (Guthrie) -107
Seattle Mariners (Montgomery) -103
Under 7.5 runs -125
Over 7.5 runs +105
Guthrie is 5-4 with a 5.55 ERA, and he got himself off to a rather mediocre start, with a 6.52 ERA after five outings, then posted a few solid efforts before being shelled by the Yankees on May 25. In that game, Guthrie lasted only an inning and gave up 11 runs, punctuated by four homers on the part of the Bronx Bombers. But he's actually rebounded reasonably well, giving up eight runs in his last 23 innings. If you take a close look at what he's done, he has had seven decent starts out of his last eight, so that definitely has to be considered.
Montgomery had a 4-3 record at Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League before being called up to the Mariners. Three of his four starts have been pretty good. In his first three, he allowed just four runs on 15 hits in 19 innings. Last time out he slipped just a bit, as BetAnySports customers saw him give up four earned runs over 7 1/3 innings against the defending world champion San Francisco Giants. Montgomery must rely on finesse; he is not a strikeout pitcher, as evidenced by just a dozen days in his 26 1/3 innings thus far. So he will not overpower this Kansas City lineup.
There is a bit of disparity between Kansas City's road record (18-14) and Seattle's mark at Safeco (16-22). And the Mariners are not getting a windfall of offense, as they have scored two runs or less in five of their last seven games. Guthrie, like Montgomery, is not somebody who necessarily comes out and throws heat. But we do like the way he has controlled the baseball in his last four starts, giving up just four bases on balls. And like we said, if you threw that one disastrous game against the Yankees out, he actually has a relatively decent run going for himself.
In what is essentially a pick'em affair, it would appear that the Royals might offer some value, especially since they are one of the league's best teams on the road. In fact, only Tampa Bay has a better record as the visitor in the American League.
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