In the first of a three-game series between the Kansas City Royals (30-21) and the Texas Rangers (30-21) at Kauffman Stadium, Edinson Volquez (4-3, 2.95 ERA) and Chi Chi Gonzalez (1-0, 0.00 ERA) get the ball. The game starts at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Jun. 5 and will air on FSN-SW and FSN-KC.
In his most recent outing, Volquez pitched 5.2 innings, allowing three runs, striking out nine and walking one in an 8-4 loss to the Cubs. Kendrys Morales (.303, 32 Rs, 6 HRs, 38 RBIs) went 1 for 3 yesterday. The Rangers were victorious over the Red Sox 8-0 the last time Chi Gonzalez pitched. He went 5.2 innings, giving up zero runs, striking out two and walking five. Prince Fielder (.358, 26 Rs, 10 HRs, 40 RBIs) has been hitting the ball well for the Rangers, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
Kansas City, a -156 favorite, will look to capitalize at home against Texas. The Over/Under (O/U) for the matchup is eight runs. The Royals have a winning record of 16-10 when playing as the favorite and an overall money line of +945. Kansas City has averaged 2.7 runs per game over the last 10 games, lower than its season average of 4.6. The Royals come into the game with the third-ranked scoring offense in the AL, averaging 4.6 runs per game. The Royals have the top batting average in the league at .274. Don't expect the Kansas City hitters to swing wildly. They average an AL-low 6.0 strikeouts per game. Transitioning to the pitching staff, the Royals don't give up many hits at home to opposing batters at Kauffman Stadium, leading the AL with only 7.2 hits allowed per home game.
Moving on to the away team, the Rangers come into this game with a win percentage of .511 when playing as the underdog (24-23) and an overall money line of +969. During the last 10 games, they averaged 5.9 runs per game, above their 4.7 season average.
The Royals will take on a right-hander (Chi Gonzalez) in this game and have a 20-14 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Rangers will be the right-hander Volquez. They sport a 19-15 record against righties.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Rangers won their last game by a one-run margin. In games decided by one run, the Royals are 5-5. The Rangers are 10-5 in close games this season.
When leading after 7 innings, Kansas City is 13-7, while Texas is 12-14.
The Royals are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded six strikeouts. The Rangers have a record of 12-8 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 2-16. The Rangers have a 5-21 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league at 27th when it comes to home runs, hitting 38 this season. Texas ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 59.
Kansas City ranks at the top of the league when it comes to hits with 9.46 per game this season. Texas ranks in the top five at fifth with 8.64.
Ranking ninth, Texas is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.731). Kansas City ranks in the top five at fourth with an OPS of .738.
When the Rangers allow at least one home run, they are 13-22. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 13-15 record.