Kansas City Royals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Baseball, MLB

The Kansas City Royals will head east to PNC Park to face the Pittsburgh Pirates. This interleague matchup will get going at 7:05 p.m. ET and fans can tune in to Fox Sports Kansas City to catch the action.

Kansas City Royals vs. Pittsburgh Pirates Odds

Kansas City (+155) is hosting this game as the underdog against Pittsburgh (-165) and oddsmakers have set the Over/Under for this one at eight runs (-120 for the over and +100 for the under). The game’s most recent runline odds sit at -140 for picking the Royals +1.5 runs and +120 for the Pirates -1.5.

The Royals are 52-97 SU and are 73-75 against the spread (ATS). They’ve lost 23.7 units for moneyline bettors and 10.4 units ATS. The Pirates, on the other hand, are 74-74 SU and 72-75 ATS. The team’s lost 0.5 units for moneyline bettors and 10.9 units ATS.

Pittsburgh games have a 65-72-10 over/under record in 2018. Royals games have gone under 73 times, gone over 64 times and pushed on 11 occasions.

The right-handed Brad Keller is projected to start for the visiting Royals. Keller is 8-6 with a 3.04 ERA and 87 strikeouts. He has yet to face the Pirates this year and did not record a start against them in 2017, either.

The Pirates will turn to righty Joe Musgrove (6-9, 3.87 ERA), who has 96 punchouts and 23 walks to his credit as well as a WHIP of 1.17. Musgrove did not record a start against the Royals in 2017.

Kansas City’s pitching staff allowed 5.2 runs per game and its starting pitchers own a 5.01 ERA, 1.43 WHIP and 7.33 K/9. The bullpen has logged an ERA of 5.07, along with a K/9 of 7.35.

Royals hitters have slashed .246/.309/.390 on their way to 3.9 runs scored per game this year, including 5.3 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 6.4 per game over the team’s last five contests (3-2 SU).

Kansas City’s offense has been powered by second baseman Whit Merrifield and right fielder Alex Gordon. The speedy Merrifield is slashing .302/.366/.436 with 12 home runs, 57 RBIs, 81 runs and 36 stolen bases. Gordon is hitting .242 with 11 homers, 47 RBIs and 52 runs scored.

For the home team, Pittsburgh’s pitching staff has given up 4.3 runs per game overall in 2018. Its starters have an ERA of 4.01, a WHIP of 1.26 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 7.5. The bullpen has a 4.11 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 9.6 K/9.

The Pittsburgh hitters are putting up 4.3 runs per outing, including 4.6 per game over its last 10 games and 3.8 per game over their last five. The team has a slash-line of .230/.311/.342 over its last five matchups and is 3-2 SU during that stretch.

Outfielders Starling Marte and Corey Dickerson have paced the Pirates’ offense this year. Marte is slashing .272/.316/.449 with 19 home runs, 66 RBIs, 75 runs and 32 steals, and Dickerson’s line sits at .293/.324/.456 with 11 homers, 50 RBIs and 60 runs.

Kansas City Royals at Pittsburgh Pirates Pick

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

Betting Notes

  • Kansas City has logged 24 extra-base hits over its last five outings. Pittsburgh has 15 XBH over its last five.
  • Kansas City has recorded 23.9 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 games and 28.4 over its last five.
  • The Royals have hit nine home runs in their last 10 games, including five over their last five.