Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros Free Pick

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The Houston Astros are set to host the Kansas City Royals at Minute Maid Park. The game gets underway 2:10 p.m. ET and Fox Sports Kansas City will broadcast this AL matchup.

Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros Odds

Kansas City (+270) is entering this one as the underdog against Houston (-340) and oddsmakers have the Over/Under for this one at 8 runs. The odds for wagering on the games total stand at -110 for both the over and the under. Bettors can also wager on the games spread with the runline odds sitting at Royals +1.5 runs (+135) and Astros -1.5 runs (-155).

The Astros are 51-27 straight up (SU) and 43-34 against the spread (ATS). They’ve gained 3.6 units for moneyline bettors and 6.6 units (ATS). The Royals have gone 23-53 SU this year and are 34-41 ATS. Overall, the teams lost 20.3 units for moneyline gamblers and 14.9 units ATS.

Houston games have an over/under record of 35-38-4 thus far in 2018. Royals games have gone under 43 times, gone over 28 times and pushed on four occasions.

Jason Hammel is getting the nod for the Royals. The right-handed Hammel (2-8, 4.88 ERA) has recorded 59 strikeouts in 90.1 innings so far. He has yet to face the Astros this year and only made one start against them in 2017 (0-0, 1.29 ERA and four strikeouts across seven innings).

The Astros will turn to righty Gerrit Cole (8-1, 2.59 ERA), who’s got 138 strikeouts and 30 walks to his name as well as a WHIP of 0.89. Cole did not record a start against the Royals in 2017.

Houston’s pitchers have allowed 3.0 runs per game overall this season as a unit. Its starters have an ERA of 2.90, a WHIP of 1.05 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 10.2. The bullpen has a solid ERA of just 2.65, a WHIP of 1.03 and a K/9 of 10.8.

The Houston offense is putting up 5.1 runs per outing, including 5.9 per game over its last 10 games and 3.0 per game over its last five. The team has a slash-line of .222/.326/.358 over its last five games and is 3-2 SU during that stretch.

Jose Altuve has helped lead the Astros offense this season with seven home runs, 39 RBIs, 50 runs and 11 steals.

In the other dugout, Kansas City’s pitching staff allowed 5.5 runs per game and its starting pitchers own a 5.08 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 7.36 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 5.44, along with a WHIP of 1.43.

Royals hitters have slashed .240/.303/.367 on their way to 3.6 runs scored per game in 2018, including 2.0 runs per game over the teams last 10 games and 2.0 per game over the teams last five outings (1-4 SU).

Whit Merrifield has led Kansas City’s offense so far and is hitting .280/.358/.401 with four home runs, 23 RBIs, 31 runs and 16 steals.

The Astros are looking for another win following a 4-3 victory in the prior game of the series.

Kansas City Royals at Houston Astros MLB Pick

Predictions: SU Winner – Astros, ATS Winner – Royals, O/U – OVER

Betting Notes

  • The over has cashed in three of Kansas City’s last seven games.
  • The Royals have hit four home runs in their last 10 games. The Astros have hit 16 over their last 10.
  • Kansas City has posted 14.0 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 outings and 15.6 over its last five.