Framber Valdez will get the start for the Astros (85-68, 39-39 home) as they host the Royals (51-102, 20-55 away) at Minute Maid Park. The Royals will give the starting nod to Cole Ragans. Check out my prediction for game one of this American League matchup between the Kansas City Royals and Houston Astros.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS HOUSTON ASTROS BETTING PICK
The Pick: Kansas City Royals +176
This game will be played at Minute Maid Park at 8:10 ET on Friday, September 22nd.
WHY BET THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS:
- In their last ten games, the Royals have a record of 7-3.
- The Royals head into the game having won three straight games.
- Opponents are hitting just .112 against Cole Ragans in his last five starts.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS ON A RUNLINE WIN STREAK
153 games into the season, the Royals have a record of 51-102, putting them 5th in the AL Central. This mark includes an overall series 9-36-4. At home, they are 31-47 compared to 20-55 on the road.
Kansas City’s Cole Ragans has been impressive in 2023, boasting a 6-4 record and 3.33 ERA. His home ERA is an impressive 2.86, while his road ERA stands at 8.06. Ragans’ WHIP is 1.14 and opposing teams have only managed to hit .200 against him with a slugging percentage of .294.
Cole Ragans’ most recent start saw the Royals edge out the Astros 10-8. The lefty hurled six frames, allowing five earned runs on six hits.
Across their last five games, the Royals’ offense is 6th in batting average, leading to an average of 6 runs per contest in that span. Overall, they are the 24th ranked scoring offense and posted a season-long OPS of .700 on 152 (24th). On average, they have struckout 8 times per game compard to 2.5 walks.
Bobby Witt Jr. is the leader in home runs for the Kansas City Royals in 2023, with 29 round-trippers and 91 RBIs to his name. His slugging percentage is a robust .494 for the season.
WILL THE HOUSTON ASTROS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME?
The Astros enter today’s action with an overall record of 85-68, putting them in first place in the AL West. So far, they have put together a 39-39 record at home and 46-29. Houston’s overall series record stands at 26-18-4.
The Astros will look to Framber Valdez to take the mound, as the starter boasts an impressive 12-10 record over 29 appearances this season. His ERA stands at 3.20, while his K/9 figure is 8.73 and FIP is 3.47. Valdez has also held opposing batters to a .276 on-base percentage (OBP).
Framber Valdez earned a quality start and the victory in his most recent outing, as the Astros defeated the Royals 7-1. The southpaw allowed one run and six hits over seven innings of work.
For the season, the Astros’ offense is averaging 5.2 runs per game. Over their last ten games they have swung the bats well, sitting 9th in the league in scoring, with a total of 51 runs. Overall, Houston’s team batting average is .259, putting them 4th in the MLB.
Yordan Alvarez is pacing the Astros in home runs in 2023, with 28 round-trippers to his name. The slugger has also driven in 93 runs, and his season-long slugging percentage is a robust .579.