Kansas City Royals +176 at Detroit Tigers -188 (Total: 9.5)
Jonathan Sanchez (1-3, 6.80 ERA) vs. Drew Smyly (3-3, 4.54 ERA)
I’ll agree that Royals v. Tigers isn’t the most glamorous game on the weekend slate, but it does have a line that just jumped up and down SCREAMING please please please wager on me. So… I am obliged to listen.
Let’s dig in and see if we can build on the momentum of last night’s thrilling bottom of the ninth Mets comeback win (and cover!)
Jonathan Sanchez was an absolute beast for the World Champion Giants in the 2010 World Series. Suffice it to say the Royals have not gotten the same version thus far this season. He is 1-4 with a ridiculous sky-high 6.80 ERA over ten underwhelming starts. He has only pitched into the sixth inning twice this entire season, placing an intense burden on the already-suspect Royal bullpen. They have responded well with a 3.28 ERA, but pitching four innings every start is not a good long-term plan.
With Sanchez’s last three starts having been EVEN WORSE than his season averages (8.44 ERA, 2.22 WHIP), one has to wonder if tonight might be one of his last chances to remain an every fifth-day starting pitcher in Kansas City.
Drew Smyly is one of the prized pitching gems in the Detroit Tigers system, but the twenty-two year old righty is struggling mightily this season, particularly over his last three starts. Smyly is 1-1, but has an 8.53 ERA, a WHIP of 1.50 and has thrown just 12 1/3 innings.
So looking at these two starters, the question that jumps out at me… HOW is this run line total set at ONLY 9.5?? This is a 10.5 game without a bat of an eye, and might even warrant an uncommonly high 11. Yet it is set at just 9.5.
The -188 for Detroit is a little too much money for my liking to lay on a favorite, and I can’t even consider taking the +176, which would normally be enticing, but not with a guy who has a WHIP over 2.00 in his last three starts and a season ERA approaching a run an inning. The winner wager is out for me on this game.
But the total OVER 9.5 feels like a gimme. Jump all over it just like I imagine both these lineups will jump on these beleaguered starting pitchers. Expect plenty of runs early and some long innings logged by each bullpen.
Free Pick: Run TOTAL OVER 9.5