Yusei Kikuchi will get the start for the Blue Jays (77-63, 35-30 home) as they host the Royals (44-97, 18-51 away) at Rogers Centre. The Royals will give the starting nod to Collin Snider. Check out my prediction for game one of this American League matchup between the Kansas City Royals and Toronto Blue Jays.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS TORONTO BLUE JAYS BETTING PICK
The Pick: Kansas City Royals +1.5 Runs
This game will be played at Rogers Centre at 7:07 ET on Friday, September 8th.
WHY BET THE KANSAS CITY ROYALS:
- The Royals will be taking on a Blue Jays club that is just 2-3 vs. the runline over their last five games.
- Against the runline, the Blue Jays have gone just 1-2 in their last three home games.
- The Royals have gone 1-2 in Yusei Kikuchi’s last three starts.
KANSAS CITY ROYALS STRUGGLING VS RUNLINE OF LATE
141 games into the season, the Royals have a record of 44-97, putting them 5th in the AL Central. This mark includes an overall series 6-35-3. At home, they are 26-46 compared to 18-51 on the road.
Collin Snider is yet to record a win this season, but has made 10 appearances on the mound. His ERA stands at 4.22, with opposing batters hitting .293 against him. He has also allowed one home run and his opponents have an OPS of .793 against him.
Collin Snider’s performance in the Royals’ 12-1 victory over the White Sox was a mixed bag. The right-hander tossed two innings, allowing one run on two hits, but did not factor into the decision.
This season, the Royals are 25th in the league at 4.1 runs per game. Over their last five games, they have a combined batting average of .271 (11th) leading to 6.2 runs per contest. Overall, they are generating 2.4 walks per game compared to 8 strikeouts. Kansas City’s on-base percentage of .300 has them 21st in the MLB.
Nelson Velázquez has been a key contributor to the Royals’ offense over the past ten games, hitting four home runs and bringing his season total to 12. The outfielder’s batting average currently stands at .250.
WILL THE TORONTO BLUE JAYS TAKE CARE OF BUSINESS AT HOME?
On an overall record of 77-63, the Blue Jays are 3rd in the AL East. On the road, Toronto has put together a record of 42-33 while going 35-30 at home. Against teams with below .500 records, the club has gone 36-36. Overall, the Blue Jays have played in 44 series, going 25-17-2.
Yusei Kikuchi has been impressive in his first season, boasting a 9-5 record and 3.63 ERA. On the road, he has an ERA of 4.15 and 4-3 record in 15 appearances. At home, he’s 5-2 with an ERA of 3.84, while his WHIP is 1.26 and opponents are batting .244 against him with a slugging percentage of .409.
Yusei Kikuchi was unable to secure a victory in his most recent start against the Rockies, surrendering six runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings of work. Despite the Blue Jays’ efforts, they ultimately fell 8-7.
Across their last ten games, the Blue Jays’ offense is 2nd in batting average, leading to an average of 6.6 runs per contest in that span. Overall, they are the 15th ranked scoring offense and posted a season-long OPS of .753 on 163 (14th).
A noteworthy absence for today’s game is that of the Blue Jays’ leader in hits, Bo Bichette. The shortstop has been a key contributor to the team’s offense this season, boasting a .314 batting average and an on-base percentage of .344.