You can count the number of saves that Craig Kimbrel blows per year on one hand. He has been the best reliever in the majors now for several seasons and is as reliable as any closer in the game. We backed the Boston Red Sox as underdogs yesterday against the New York Yankees, and Boston brought Kimbrel in to slam the door shut with one out in the eighth inning, with a 6-5 lead. Well, even the best of the best blow a save once in a while, and that is what happened last night.
Kimbrel came into a bit of a jam with a couple of runners on base and got absolutely lit up. The final blow being an Aaron Judge moonshot homer to put the game away for the Yankees. It was a painful way to lose as Kimbrel is usually so consistent and we were in line for a nice +118 payout. What can you do, the Yankees are steaming hot right now and when you are rolling breaks like this tend to go your way. Today we look at the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Baltimore Orioles.
The Kansas City Royals are in Baltimore Thursday for game three of a three-game series with the Orioles. The series is tied at one game apiece. The Royals took game one in blowout fashion as they hammered Orioles starter Dylan Bundy for seven runs in the first inning and won the game 15-7. Game two, the Orioles were able to steal the win late as they took the lead in the bottom of the eighth on a Mark Trumbo two-run single, and the won the game 5-3.
Starting tonight for Kansas City is Ian Kennedy (1-3 2.92 ERA), and for the Orioles, it is Chris Tillman (1-5 9.24 ERA). The Royals are tiny -112 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at ten and a half runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:05 PM PST from Camden Yards in Baltimore.
Neither of these teams are any good this season. But what the Orioles are doing is truly disgusting. They are the worst team in the American League right now as they have the lowest win total (9) and the highest loss total (27) of any team. And it would appear that things aren’t going to get any better soon as trade rumor are swirling around all of their best players.
This season looks like it is going to end up very poorly for Baltimore and I would be shocked if Manny Machado isn’t on the move very soon. There really is no value for the Orioles to keep Machado on the books much longer as they certainly won’t be able to give him the 300 million he will command in free agency and they could net one of the better player packages of all time for him in the trade market. The most logical home for Machado seems to be the Dodgers, but with their recent struggles, they might have to back off a big mid-season acquisition like Machado.
I have heard whispers of moving Machado to the Los Angeles Angels, and that would almost be unfair. Having a lineup with Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, and Manny Machado, all young superstars in their primes, would be a deadly combination for the Angels. Only time will tell where Machado ends up this year, but you can bet he won’t be wearing an Orioles jersey much longer.
Starting tonight for Baltimore is Chris Tillman. Tillman had one really great start this season. He pitched seven shutout innings of one-hit ball against the Detroit Tigers on April 27th. Besides that one start? Tillman has surrendered twenty-six earned runs in eighteen and a third innings pitched. He has failed to make it past the fifth inning in four of his six starts this year.
He is walking a lot of guys, not striking out many, and giving up the long ball. The Orioles are just 1-5 in games in which Tillman starts, and none of his losses have been close, as his team has lost those five games by an average of over five runs per contest. He isn’t just losing, he is getting blown out.
Starting tonight for the Royals is Ian Kennedy. Kennedy has been the recipient of some pretty bad luck this season as he has pitched very well. He has a sub-three ERA and has given up two earned runs or fewer in five out of his seven starts. But when your team is only going to win 60-70 games on the year, it is hard to win games as a pitcher, and the Royals are just 3-4 in his seven starts, despite his solid pitching.
This feels like a blowout to me. The Orioles are making a habit of getting blown out of games this year. Their -80-run differential is ten runs worse than any other team in the majors and twenty-two runs worse than any other team in the American League. They aren’t even a competitive team right now.
And with Chris Tillman on the mound? It feels like the Royals are going to cruise today. Ian Kennedy has been very solid despite the losing record, and the Royals are actually a decent team at the plate as they are eighth in the big leagues in batting average. It wouldn’t shock me to see the Royals hammer Tillman and win this game by a lot.
When I look at this number, it is essentially even. Right now, we are laying an extra two cents on the Royals at -112, but that is as close as you are ever going to get besides a straight pick ‘em. And I just can’t see why people like Baltimore in this matchup. When I look at the run line, I see a lot of value as I can get Kansas City at +145.
That isn’t a huge premium, but it is a very attractive number to get a favorite on the run line at. And I really feel that Baltimore could very easily get destroyed today at home. Any time there are going to be a lot of runs scored, and the game total is set at ten and a half for this one, it is always going to be easier to cover that run and a half. So, give me the Kansas City Royals on the run line laying a run and a half at +145 tonight in Baltimore!