Edinson Volquez and John Lackey (2-2, 2.96 ERA) are on the hill in the second of a three-game series between the Kansas City Royals (27-14) and the St. Louis Cardinals (27-15) at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals won the last game 5-0 and Kansas City leads the series 1-0. Action begins at 7:15 p.m. ET on Saturday, May. 23 and can be seen on FOX.
Volquez makes the start after Danny Duffy was pushed back due to shoulder tightness. He goes up against a good St. Louis offense which is batting .266 this season. Kendrys Morales (.305, 31 Rs, 6 HRs, 37 RBIs) continued his strong play yesterday, going 3 for 4 with two runs, two home runs, and five RBIs. Lackey is 3-4 with a 3.54 ERA against the Royals in his career. He takes on a quality Kansas City offense that's batting .289. Matt Carpenter (.322, 29 Rs, 7 HRs, 24 RBIs) has been successful at the plate for the Cardinals, going 3 for 4 yesterday.
Kansas City is a narrow -112 favorite at home against St. Louis. According to the oddsmakers, the Over/Under (O/U) is currently seven runs. The Royals have recorded an overall money line of +1,142 and have shown high-level performance as a favorite this season with a record of 14-9. Against the NL, they are unbeaten both as the favorite (2-0) and SU (2-0)The Royals are one of the best in the MLB in terms of extra base hits with 133. Crossing over to the pitching and defensive side, it's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Royals. The 2.9 runs that Kansas City's pitchers allow per home game makes them the top AL staff at home.
In games where it is the underdog, St. Louis has a 5-7 record and an overall money line of +1,128. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 1-3 record, and a 5-5 record SU. Offensively, the Cardinals have really sputtered in interleague games. They have decreased their season average of 4.4 runs per game by averaging 3.2 in those contests. The Cardinals allow 3.0 runs per game, but does worse whenever an AL opponent is on the schedule. They bring that runs allowed average up to 3.5 against teams from the AL.
The Royals have the edge in the season series, 1-0. The Royals have a great 9-4 record at home (16-9 overall) against right-handed starting pitchers, which is what they'll be facing when Lackey takes the mound. Duffy (LHP) will be on the hill against the Cardinals, who have a 5-5 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
Kansas City earned its third shutout of the season in its last game. St. Louis has been shut out four times this season.
When the Royals play into extra innings, they have a 3-0 record. The Cardinals are 4-3 when their games exceed nine innings.
Having scored zero runs in their last game, the Cardinals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Royals have a 3-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 1-9. The Cardinals have a 6-9 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league at 24th when it comes to home runs, hitting 31 this season. St. Louis ranks in the bottom half at 20th with 34.
Kansas City ranks at the top of the league when it comes to hits with 10.03 per game this season. St. Louis ranks in the top five at second with 9.34.
Ranking seventh, St. Louis is in the top 10 of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.732). Kansas City ranks in the top five at third with an OPS of .773.
When the Cardinals allow at least one home run, they are 10-10. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 12-9 record.