Los Angeles Angels vs. Kansas City Royals Preview and Pick

Los Angeles Angels (22-13) +110, o/u 8 at Kansas City Royals (14-18), 8:10 pm Eastern Wednesday
by Zman of Predictem.com

The Los Angeles Angels, winners of four straight games, go for the sweep of a three-game series in Kansas City vs. the Royals Wednesday night at Kauffman Stadium.

Baseball Bookmakers are listing KC and starting pitcher Zack Greinke as -120 home favorites for Wednesday’s game, with an over/under of 8. The Angels and starter Jered Weaver are getting around +110 as road underdogs.

LA has taken the first two games of this three-game set by scores of 4-0 and 5-3. So going into Wednesday’s action, the Angels lead the AL West by a game over the second-place Oakland A’s, while the Royals are in fourth place in the AL Central, just 2 games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins.

Los Angeles has taken three of four games from KC so far this season, but the Royals won the season series with the Angels last year five games to two. Also, the o/u has gone 2-9 in those last 11 games in the series between these two teams, which have averaged a pedestrian 7.0 total runs per.

LA is a league-best 12-5 on the road this year, 18-17 vs. the run line and 8-3 as underdogs. Meanwhile, Kansas City is just 5-9 at home this season, 15-17 vs. the run line and 2-6 as favorites.

Weaver (2-4, 4.36, 1.34 WHIP this season), in his last three starts, which includes a 4-3 loss to Baltimore last Friday, has allowed 11 ER and 26 baserunners (hits + walks) in 18 1/3 IP. The Angels somehow are just 2-5 in Weaver’s starts this year, the o/u also 2-5.

In three starts this year and last vs. KC, Weaver has given up six ER and 26 BR in 19 IP. But LA is 0-3 in those games, and all three games stayed under their totals.

In his three most recent starts, which includes a good outing in a 2-1 loss to Minnesota last Thursday, Greinke (3-1, 1.47, 1.02) has allowed five ER and 22 BR in 19 innings of work. The Royals are 4-2 in Greinke’s starts this year, the o/u 2-4.

Greinke started one game vs. Los Angeles last year, and got bopped around for six ER and 12 BR in five IP of a 7-5 KC defeat.

On the offensive side of this match-up, LA ranks 10th in the majors in team OBP at .336, 8th in team slugging at .426, and is averaging 4.8 runs per game. Meanwhile, the punchless Royals rank 28th in OBP at .308, 29th in slugging at .350, and are averaging just 3.4 RPG.

Also, KC has scored just 10 runs over its last five games. Fortunately, Royals pitching has only allowed 13 runs over that span.

The Angels bullpen has allowed 11 ER and 30 BR over the last five games, covering 18 2/3 IP. On the other side, the Kansas City pen has given up four ER and 10 BR in its last five games, covering 10 1/3 innings of work.

On the injury front, LA 3B Chone Figgins, who’s missed the last three games with a bad hammy, is listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game.

The o/u is 15-19 in Angels games this season, which are averaging 9.3 total runs per, while the totals are 10-22 in Royals games, which are averaging 7.8 runs. Games played at Kauffman Stadium this season are averaging just 7.0 total runs, after averaging 9.3 RPG last year.

Zman’s Pick: It’s tough to sweep on the road. Not to mention, Zack Greinke has been lights out this year. I think the Royals win in a low scoring affair.