Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Kansas City Royals Preview and Pick – Scherzer vs. Greinke

Arizona Diamondbacks (27-38) Max Scherzer +150, 7.5 O/U at
Kansas City Royals (29-34) Zach Greinke -160, 7.5 O/U, Kaufman
Stadium, Kansas City, Mo., 8:10 PM EST, Wednesday

by Badger of

Two exciting young pitchers are set to duel on the mound at Kaufman
Stadium Wednesday when the Royals send their ace Zach Greinke up
against the Arizona Diamondbacks hard-throwing righty Max Scherzer
in interleague action.

The Royals won the opening game of the three-game set when Gil Meche
tossed a four-hit shutout in a 5-0 victory. Mark Teahen had three of
the Royals 10 hits and five different players all drove in a run for
the Royals, who also took advantage of three Diamondback errors in
the game.

Greinke will try and continue his impressive 2009 campaign as he goes
for his 9th victory in his 14th start of the season. Scherzer will
try and stop the Diamondbacks bleeding, as the D-Backs have lost
three in a row and seven of their last 10 to drop to 11 games below .

Oddsmaker opened the game with the Royals and Greinke as -170 favorites on the overnight line, but early action has dropped the
number to -165 or -160 at most online sportsbooks. The Diamondbacks
are a solid +150 underdog on the dimeline, and the over/under total
opened at 7.5 and hasnt moved an inch (or centimeter for our
International readers).

Greinke has looked human on the mound of late, as the Royals have
lost all of his last three outings partly because hes allowed 23
hits and 4 walks in 19.1 innings (1.40 WHIP). After not allowing an
earned run through all of those innings to start the season, Greinke
has allowed more than three runs in each of the last three starts
including a season-high five earned runs (7 total) two starts ago
against Toronto.

Greinke has had his troubles with the Diamondbacks in interleague
play before as well, as he is 0-0 with a 8.74 ERA in two starts where
hes been knocked around a lot to the tune of 18 hits and 11 earned
runs in just 11.1 innings pitched.

But those numbers are VERY deceiving, as he gave up all 11 of those
runs in one game back in 2005 (a 12-11 D-Backs win). Last year
Greinke threw seven innings of shutout ball, allowing just three hits
but walking a high of seven in what turned out to be a 1-0 loss to
Doug Davis and the D-Backs. So hes pitched to both extremes in his
two career starts against them.

Scherzer has an electric fastball and some decent numbers (3.63 ERA,
1.33 WHIP) over his 12 starts this season, but very little results in
the wins and losses column (3-4, team is 6-6).

But Scherzer has been dealing it of late, throwing five innings of 3-
hit shutout ball against the Padres two starts ago. In his last start
he threw seven innings of 3-hit shutout ball against the Giants, so
he seems to have turned the page from his worst outing of the season
May 31st against the Braves (8 ER in 3.2 IP).

Runs havent been the problem during the D-Backs recent struggles, as
they scored five a game in Houston the series before and still lost
two of three. The were shutdown by Meche last night, and with Greinke
on tap the D-Backs will surely be pressing a little tonight to try
and get out in front early.

The Royals have won four in a row due in part to an offense that is
scoring nearly six runs a game (5.7) during the streak.

All of that offense would go right along with the betting trend on
the over, which is 6-2 in the last eight head-to-head games between
these two teams. But most of those over plays cashed in at the
Diamondbacks Chase Field, not at Kaufman Stadium, where the over is
just 3-3-1 in the seven games played there including last nights
under result.

Badgers Pick: Greinke gets win No. 9 tonight, but Scherzer matches him pitch-for-pitch until the late innings. With too much juice on
Greinke, Im taking the under of 7.5 tonight.