Edinson Volquez (6-4, 3.10 ERA) and Rick Porcello (4-7, 5.29 ERA) start in the second of a three-game series between the Kansas City Royals (38-26) and the Boston Red Sox (30-39) at Kauffman Stadium. The Red Sox won the last game 7-3 and Boston leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:10 p.m. ET on Saturday, Jun. 20 and can be seen on NESN and FSN-KC.
Volquez pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering two runs, striking out two and walking two in an 8-5 win over the Brewers. Eric Hosmer (.300, 38 Rs, 8 HRs, 38 RBIs, 3 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with one run, one home run, and one RBI. Porcello is 8-5 with a 4.30 ERA when pitching against the Royals. He is up against a good Kansas City offense which is hitting .273 this season. Hanley Ramirez (.269, 38 Rs, 14 HRs, 35 RBIs, 3 SBs) has been successful at the plate for the Red Sox, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and two RBIs.
Kansas City is a -144 favorite against Boston and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at eight runs. The Royals have recorded an overall money line of +1,118 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 23-13. Kansas City is unbeaten as the favorite and has an 8-2 SU record in its last ten outings. The Royals lead the MLB in batting average with a phenomenal team average of .273. Kansas City strikes out the least of any team in the AL, with only 5.8 per game. As for the pitchers, opposing offenses have been stifled by the Royals, who have a team ERA of only 3.34. The Royals are the top team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 7.7 hits per game so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Boston has a 9-13 record and an overall money line of -1,748. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-3 record when playing as the underdog. Boston is excellent at not striking out with just 6.4 per game, ranking second in the AL.
The Red Sox have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Royals have a great 15-8 record at home (28-16 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Porcello takes the mound. Volquez (RHP) will be on the hill against the Red Sox, who have a 21-28 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
Boston has won 47% (15-17) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won 68% (17-8) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Royals are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded two strikeouts. The Red Sox have a record of 4-1 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 2-21. The Red Sox have a 4-32 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 27th in home runs, Kansas City has hit 49 this season. Boston ranks 13th with 64 home runs.
Kansas City ranks at the top of the league when it comes to hits with 9.33 per game this season. Boston ranks in the top 10 at seventh with 8.56.
Ranking 18th, Boston is in the bottom half of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.708). Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at seventh with an OPS of .732.
When the Red Sox allow at least one home run, they are 12-30. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 16-18 record.