Tonight’s action sees the Kansas City Royals face a floundering Chicago White Sox team on Sunday, leaving them well-positioned for a win.
The White Sox have been one of baseball’s most disappointing teams. They rank near or at the bottom of the American League in most offensive categories (including, but not limited to, runs scored, home runs and batting average). Moreover, they just seem to be getting worse.
Coming into this series, they’d lost seven of their last eight games. Not to mention that this tilt will be the last of a ten-game road trip for Chicago, so the White Sox will be particularly road weary.
Adding to their woes: The Royals send James Shields to the pitcher’s mound. Two of Chicago’s biggest batters have poor track records against Shields. Paul Konerko has a lifetime .147 batting average against him and Adam Dunn has a .067 career average.
While Shields may have a 2-6 record, his 2.72 ERA is more reflective of how well he’s pitched. In particular, he’s ratcheted up his efforts as of late. In his past two starts, he’s sported a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings.
Even if the White Sox can muster a bit of offence, expect Chicago pitcher Dylan Axelrod to struggle. Axelrod did have a strong performance against the Royals back in early May (7 2/3 innings pitched, eight hits, one walk and two runs), but in recent weeks he hasn’t been very effective.
In his last two outings he’s thrown just 10 innings and he’s conceded 11 runs. The way to go is with the home team. Take the Royals at 1.51.
Home field advantage will be the key when the St. Louis Cardinals host the Texas Rangers. The Rangers have seemed to right the ship as of late (after a six game losing streak, they won three out of four at home against the Oakland A’s before travelling to St. Louis for a three-game set).
Still, a reason for concern is the fact the Rangers are on the road. In their last nine road tilts coming into this series, Texas are 2-7. That’s bad news when coming into Busch Stadium where the Cardinals were a solid 22-13 before the Rangers came to town.
The home field advantage is amplified by the fact that Adam Wainwright will be starting for St. Louis. At home this year he has a sparkling 1.91 ERA and throughout his career at Busch Stadium he’s 47-29 with a 2.68 ERA.
Regardless of where he’s thrown, Rangers’ rookie starter Nick Tepesch (3-6 with a 4.84 ERA) hasn’t been good. The Cardinals are the pick at 1.51.
Best Bet: Back the Kansas City Royals to beat the Chicago White Sox at 1.51
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