Matchup: New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals

Date/Time: August 25, 7:10 p.m. ET


MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook

Probable Starters: NYY: Michael Pineda (2-2, 2.05) v. KC: James Shields (12-6, 3.28)

Moneyline: Kansas City Royals -137

Total: 7.5 -115/-105

The New York Yankees and the Kansas City Royals lost an off day due to a June 9 rainout and Monday is that off day as the Yankees will fly past Detroit to make a stop in Kansas City. This game will kick off a 10-game homestand for the AL Central-leading Royals, who lost on Sunday to fall to 17-5 in August and drop a game to the Detroit Tigers. The Royals lead the AL Central by two games entering Monday’s makeup game, while the Yankees trail by 3.5 games for the second wild card spot following a sweep of the White Sox.

The Yankees are the only team within 7.5 games of a playoff spot with a negative run differential. They’re not making life easy for themselves with the second-fewest runs scored in the American League. Michael Pineda may have to work with limited run support on Monday. Pineda has made two starts since returning from the disabled list and has allowed just three earned runs over 11 innings to the Baltimore Orioles and Houston Astros. Pineda, whose max pitch count this season has been just 94 pitches, has allowed only seven runs in 30.2 innings. Even though Pineda pitched well in his last two outings, the Yankees lost both games because they only scored a total of five runs.

Big Game James Shields has had an interesting season in 2014. He started the season by posting a 6-3 record and a 2.95 ERA over his first 11 starts. Over his next seven starts, he hung a 5.63 ERA, prompting people to start asking what was wrong with him. Including his most dominant performance of the season on July 7, Shields has a 2.04 ERA over his last nine starts. The Royals are 4-0 in Shields’s four starts this month as he has held opposing batters to a .614 OPS. As good as Shields has been, he has allowed 14 unearned runs this season and that’s something to keep an eye on.

Both of Pineda’s starts against the Royals came back in 2011 as a member of the Seattle Mariners. Current Royals have a sample size of 36 plate appearances against Pineda with a .182/.250/.242 slash line. The Yankees are 2-4 for a loss of 3.11 units in Pineda’s six starts.

Shields has faced the Yankees a lot because most of his career was played with the Tampa Bay Rays. Shields has faced the Yankees more than any other team, with 29 previous starts against them. He’s 9-15 with a 4.20 ERA. Earlier this season, Shields beat the Yankees with six shutout innings. He also held them to just three earned runs in two starts last season. The Royals are 17-10 in Shields’s 27 starts for a profit of 4.40 units.

Free MLB Pick: Kansas City Royals

The last thing a team that struggles to score runs wants to see is an outstanding bullpen and a pitcher like James Shields. With Sunday’s 3-1 loss, the Royals were able to rest Wade Davis and Greg Holland for back-to-back days, which means that all hands are on deck in this game. With a full complement of relievers and the start of a big homestand, look for the Royals to keep rolling along.