In the last of a four-game series between the Kansas City Royals (16-8) and the Detroit Tigers (16-8) at Kauffman Stadium, Jeremy Guthrie (1-1, 5.87 ERA) and Anibal Sanchez (1-3, 5.46 ERA) get the ball. The Tigers won the last game 2-1 and Kansas City leads the series 2-1. The game starts at 2:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, May. 3 and will air on FSN-DET, FSN-KC and MLB Net.
The Royals flipped Guthrie and Jason Vargas to line Vargas up against the left-handed heavy Indians. Guthrie faces a strong Detroit offense that's hitting .277 on the year. Lorenzo Cain (.333, 18 Rs, 3 HRs, 13 RBIs, 6 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run, one home run, and one RBI. In his career against the Royals, Sanchez is 5-2 with a 1.07 ERA. He meets a solid Kansas City offense that's batting .300.
Kansas City is a slight underdog (-101) and the Over/Under (O/U) is eight runs. The Royals perform well as an underdog with an 8-2 record and have an overall money line of +917. They have performed well against their division to earn an SU record of 11-6 and a 3-2 record when they were the underdog. The Royals have the most prolific offense in the entire AL, averaging 5.3 runs per game. The Royals are an exceptional hitting team with an AL-best 10.8 hits per game. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in all of baseball with 21 steals. As for the Kansas City defense and pitching staff, teams routinely struggle to score runs against the Royals, who allow an AL-low 3.3 runs per game. The Royals don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking second in the league with a 1.11 WHIP.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Tigers come into this game with a solid win percentage of .625 when playing as the favorite (10-6) and an overall money line of +477. Against teams in their division, they are 12-5 SU and have played well as the favorite with a 9-3 record. Detroit has stepped up their play against division opponents. They have averaged 5.5 runs per game, more than their season average of 4.5. The Tigers have racked up 24 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Detroit's pitching staff has allowed an average of 6.1 runs per game during the last 10 games, higher than their season average of 4.2. They also allow just 2.6 walks per game, second-best in the AL.
In their previous three games this season, the Royals have a 2-1 record. This game will feature Sanchez (RHP) on the mound against the Royals, who have an 8-5 record when they take on a right-handed starter. Taking the hill against the Tigers will be the left-hander Vargas. They sport a 5-2 record against southpaws.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
The Royals sit at 11-7 against their division, while the Tigers are 13-5
Detroit has won 67% (8-4) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won 88% (7-1) of its games when taking a late lead.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Royals are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Tigers have a 10-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When outhit, both the Royals and the Tigers have records of 0-4.
Ranking 15th in home runs, Kansas City has hit 19 this season. Detroit ranks 10th with 22 home runs.
Kansas City ranks at the top of the league when it comes to hits with 10.83 per game this season. Detroit ranks in the top five at third with 9.38.
Kansas City and Detroit both rank in the top five of the league for their on-base plus slugging percentage. Kansas City sits at third with an OPS of .795 and Detroit ranks fourth with an OPS of .770.
When the Tigers allow at least one home run, they are 5-6. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 9-4 record.