Kansas City Royals at Detroit Tigers – MLB May 12

7:10 p.m. ET – Royals (-155 ML) at Tigers O/U: 8

The 16-18 Royals remain in Detroit for the second leg of a three-game series against the 11-24 Tigers on Wednesday night. Game One was a thriller in which outfielder Jorge Soler collected six RBI in the eighth and ninth innings to rally Kansas City back into a 7-7 tie after falling behind seven runs by the end of the fifth inning.

However, in the bottom of the ninth left fielder Robbie Grossman hit a walk-off single that propelled Detroit to a series-opening 8-7 win.

About the Royals

KC RoyalsThe Royals were the talk of the entire league as the team entered May with the best record in the American League. Well, they might still be the talk of the town, but not for positive reasons of late. Kansas City has lost nine consecutive games and has slid all the way down to third place in the AL Central Division, which they led the entirety of April.

Left fielder Andrew Beninetendi began the season slowly, but is batting .357 in his last 15 games and now leads the team in batting average on the year. Veteran catcher Salvador Perez has helped keep the offense afloat, batting .269 with seven home runs and 18 RBI. The Royals offense has been about as expected, ranking tied for 15th in runs scored per game at 4.2.

The reason for Kansas City’s recent skid has been the struggles of the pitching staff. No one expected a pitching staff that was a mix of veterans who will eat innings and young arms that will be sporadic to own the best ERA in baseball. However, allowing the fourth-most runs in baseball at 5.2 is worse than anyone expected. It is a large reason Kansas City owns the second-worst run differential in the American League at negative-32, because when they lose, they tend to lose badly.

About the Tigers

Detroit Tigers LogoThe Tigers are not playing winning baseball. They were not built to play winning baseball this season, but nonetheless, they are arguably the worst team in all of Major League Baseball. Detroit scores the fewest runs in the big leagues, with only 3.4 runs per game crossing the plate. A lone bright spot for the Tigers has been third baseman Jeimer Candelario.

Candelario is batting .289 with three home runs and 12 RBI. The bad news is that he was scratched from the lineup on Tuesday night due to side effects from a COVID-19 vaccine shot, and it is unclear whether he will be able to go on Wednesday.

Making matters worse for the Tigers is that the pitching staff owns the second-worst ERA in the majors at 5.11. Poor hitting and a pitching staff that regularly gets pummeled is a bad combination for any team. Obviously, Detroit is going to experiment with many different lineups this season and play a lot of young talent. Only one thing is for certain: they will lose lots of games.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Kansas City Royals -1½ (+105) -155 O 8 (-115)
Detroit Tigers +1½ (-125) +130 U 8 (-105)

The Pitching Matchup

In a game that features two teams who are struggling, there is a very intriguing starting pitching matchup between them. The Royals are turning to left-hander Danny Duffy to try and end their losing streak before it hits double digits. Duffy is 4-2 this season with a 1.26 ERA across 35.2 innings pitched. Duffy has one start against the Tigers this season back on April 25, when he recorded five shutout innings with eight strikeouts.

Detroit is looking to right-hander Casey Mize to extend its winning streak to three games and clinch the series win. Mize was the first overall pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of Auburn and made his debut in the big leagues last season. This year he has a record of 1-3 with a 4.41 ERA in 32.2 innings pitched across six starts. He started against Kansas City on April 23, when he allowed six runs over 4.2 innings in his worst start this season.

What’s the Bet?
This game is not likely one that will produce a plethora of highlights of on SportsCenter tonight, but it does boast plenty of betting value. The Tigers have been favored in just two games this season and both of those were against the Pirates, whom many view as the Detroit of the National League.

The Royals are not exactly world beaters at the moment, but they also are starting a pitcher with a 1.26 ERA and Kansas City is only a -150 favorite over the worst team in the American League. Casey Mize will be an elite starter one day, but it is his first full season in the big leagues and he is going to have some shaky starts, being that he is only 24 years old. The Royals showed some serious life last night when they erased a seven-run deficit in the final two innings last night and that should carry over into tonight. No team wants to be the team who loses 10 games in a row, and you should bet that will not happen to Kansas City on Wednesday.

Back the Royals as solid road favorites to finally get back into the win column at Comerica Park.
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Joe Menzer / Author

Joe is an award-winning writer and editor who has covered the NBA, NFL, NASCAR, golf, various collegiate athletics and other sports for newspapers, Turner Sports, Fox Sports and ESPN. He has been on the beat for seven Super Bowls, six Daytona 500s and numerous NBA playoff series and All-Star Games. He once was dispatched to Rome, Italy to spend time with an NBA draft choice who opted to play overseas, after which he produced an award-winning series of stories. He also is passionate about fantasy sports and breaking down games in ways that even novice gamblers can use to make their most intelligent wagering decisions.

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