We took day off from MLB picks yesterday to recalibrate after a tough week. Let’s get back to the grind today and see if we can start off a much better week with a win. There’s a pretty full slate of action, and most games are night games which isn’t always the case on a getaway day or Wednesday, so without further ado, let’s go ahead and dive in to today’s free pick.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Kansas City Royals -110 at Texas Rangers +100 (Total: 8)
Yordano Ventura (2-2, 5.13) vs. Yovani Gallardo (2-5, 4.19 ERA)
The Royals have four of their five starters with ERA’s over 5.00 entering tonight’s game, including tonight’s starter, Yordano Ventura. That’s usually a sure-fire recipe for a disaster, right? Well, usually. But the Royals are 21-12 with the best record in the American League. There’s no sophomore slump for this offense which burst onto the scene around June of last season.
Things are not nearly as rosy in Texas, where you could consider their 14-19 record slightly better than expectations. Josh Hamilton’s impending arrival is the “bright spot” for this organization, who with the emergence of Houston as a legitimate competitor, might be looking at a last place finish in a division they owned not so long ago. They thought the addition of Gallardo would help anchor a pitching staff that included Yu Darvish, but it hasn’t worked out that way. Gallardo has been decent but certainly not a substitute ace for the injured Darvish.
The biggest difference in tonight’s game is the offenses. The Kansas City Royals are hitting an insane .283 as a ballclub. The Royals are hitting .226. And the notion that Texas might fare better since they are at home should be quickly offset by their 4-10 home record this season. They have been dreadful in Arlington so far in 2015 and facing the best team in the American League again won’t help matters.
Texas has a staggering 12 players on their disabled list, including the aforementioned Darvish and Hamilton as well as young prize Jurickson Profar. They haven’t been able to make up for the absences, either at the plate or on the mound. I expect Kansas City to be able to score some runs early and often. Texas may very well get a few off of Ventura as well, who has yet to be real sharp this season, but I’ll take the consistency of the Royals offense. If it comes down to the bullpens, Kansas City is lights out with a 1.65 ERA and the Rangers are dreadful with a 4.64. That’s a big difference and I think it will be THE difference tonight.