Toronto Bluejays vs. Kansas City Royals Preview and Pick – Brian Tallet vs. Zach Greinke

Toronto Blue Jays (15-7) Brian Tallet +135, 8 O/U at Kansas City
Royals (10-10) Zach Greinke -145, 8 O/U, Kaufman Stadium, Kansas
City, Mo., 8:10 PM EST, Wednesday

by Badger of

Right-hander Zach Greinke will try and become the major leagues first five-game winner tonight, but hell have to do it against one
the leagues hottest offenses when the Kansas City Royals host the
Toronto Blue Jays and lefty Brian Tallet at Kaufman Stadium Wednesday

Greinke had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 38 innings last
Friday when he allowed an unearned run, but he still won his fourth-
straight decision in the Royals, 6-1, victory over Detroit. Tonight
hell gun for win No. 5 when he puts his perfect 0.00 ERA on the line
against the red-hot Blue Jays offense.

That offense was on display last night, as the AL East-leading Blue
Jays pounded out 14 hits en route to an 8-1 victory. With two games
remaining in this four-game set, the team that wins the Greinke vs.
Blue Jays offense showdown tonight will assure themselves of at least
a series split.

Oddsmakers opened the game with Greinke and the hometown Royals as
-170 favorites on the moneyline. The opening number has come down
considerably since it opened, as most of the public and even some
books seem to have fallen in love with the Blue Jays offense. If you
bet at a book with a dimeline, the Royals are listed at -145, with
the Blue Jays as +135 underdogs.

The over/under total opened at 8 and has held steady for the most
part, although you can find a few 7.5 listed at some online
sportsbooks, so shop around if you really want that half-point.

Just how potent has the Blue Jays lineup been all season? Well,
considering their starting rotation is in tatters, theyre still
strong enough to maintain a one-game lead in the AL East. Toronto is
hitting an MLB-leading .293 as a team, is 2nd in OPS at .843 and is
3rd with 29 homeruns. The Jays are scoring 6.05 runs per game and are
tops in the MLB with 133 runs scored, and they have yet to be shutout
on the season to give tonights game against scoreless Greinke even
more drama to watch.

The injury problems the Blue Jays have had this season is why Tallet
is in starting rotation. Originally a reliever, Tallet has been
called on twice to start and has done a nice job with just one earned
run and eight hits in 11 innings as a starter. Hell be facing a
Royals lineup that is scoring just 3.90 runs per game (26th) and
hitting just .238 (27th) as a team.

The Royals have won all four of Greinkes starts this season, and the
Blue Jays have won both of Tallets, so finding an edge on which side
to bet will be hard. The betting trends are all over the board too.

The Blue Jays and their offense have gone over the total in 13 of
their 22 games this season, including 10 of their last 13 on the
road. But Greinke has been a stopper, as the under is 4-0 with him on
the mound this year. The under is also 13-7 in the Royals 20 games
this year and is 9-4 in the last 13 head-to-head.

Greinke has had his problems with Toronto in the past though, as he
is just 1-3 in five career starts with a 5.12 ERA and 1.358 WHIP.

The Royals won two of the three played in Kaufman last year,
including an 8-4 victory last April pitched by Greinke over the-Blue
Jay A.J. Burnett.

Badgers Pick: Greinke is one of only a few pitchers in baseball I would consider taking at -145, but the suspect Royals offense scares
me away. He will hold them down, so Im thinking a low-scoring affair
tonight. Take the under of 8.