I’ll be filling in for Jason Gray this week, who will be on vacation. He’s had a nice run in 2018, so I can understand your hesitance to roll with my MLB picks at first. In fact, my season so far with predicting MLB winners (8-16 overall) hasn’t been great.
While that record is ghastly, I have been burned by some elite pitchers and a few games just going the way opposite direction. The good news? In my last stop earlier this summer, I was 3-2 over my most recent five picks. I hope to carry that positive momentum into Monday, to both help replace Jason and also make you some money.
Kyle Eve made some fantastic picks before I hit this slate up, so go ahead and check his MLB picks out for today as well.
That leaves six games on a relatively tame MLB schedule and the one that stands out is Toronto vs. Kansas City. The Royals are at home, but thanks to a 1-9 run over their last 10 games and a horrendous 16-42 home record, there isn’t much reason to go with them.
Kansas City also has been really bad offensively and the Royals will be hoping the unproven Brad Keller can manage his way through a pretty powerful Jays offense. So, is there enough value with KC as +106 home dogs, or is there a better bet associated with Toronto?
Let’s dig a bit deep in tonight’s MLB showdown to find out:
Toronto Blue Jays (-116) vs. Kansas City Royals (+106) Total: 9 (-126/+106)
As I mentioned, I don’t see some huge edge the Royals get here. Normally you’re going to want to seriously consider any underdog at their home pick. Unfortunately, KC lost arguably their best bat when they traded away Mike Moustakas and they weren’t good at home even with him on deck.
No matter how you slice it, the Royals are dead last in the majors in runs scored, 28th in hits, 28th in homers and 24th in batting average. When you shift to just their home splits, they’re dead last when it comes to the long ball in their home park as well.
Offensively, this just isn’t a lineup to fear and that puts rookie pitcher Sean Reid-Foley, who is making his MLB debut tonight, in a terrific spot. The park minimizes the power and given KC’s weak power to begin with, his only real issue will be finding a way to convince a normally stingy roster to swing-and-miss.
The Royals are patient at the plate, but they’ve never seen Reid-Foley and he brings an elite K rate to the table. These types of debuts can go either way, but I tend to think Reid-Foley should perform well here.
On the other side there is Brad Keller, who Toronto admittedly also has not seen.
However, there is at least major league tape on Keller, who thus far has been rather hittable. He’s induced a lot of ground balls, but he did get dinged twice in his last two games and has allowed 3+ runs in five of his last six showings.
Keller doesn’t bring an elite strikeout rate to the table (15.6%) and his issues with contact could hurt him against a Toronto offense that has a tendency to explode.
I’ll admit you could at least argue the pitching is a wash.
Toronto has by far the more reliable and explosive offense, though. They’re priced as a mild -116 favorite or you can aim high by taking them to win by two runs (+140). I’m game for that, especially when you note KC has been getting slapped around lately. In each of their last four losses, the Royals have fallen by five runs or more.
Toronto is the easy call at -116 on this slate and I’m a bit shocked their line is that low. I think if you want safety you can target them there, but I like them to win easily here, making a +140 RL bet pretty alluring.