How do you separate yourself as one of the best teams in baseball, especially early in the season?
You beat the bad teams and the Atlanta Braves are making sure to do that. They are 9-4 on the season and 5-1 against the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. Coming off a sweep of the Reds, they get to have a three-game series with the Kansas City Royals to try to extend their early lead over the rest of the NL East.
The Royals are 4-9 and fourth in the AL Central.
For Game 1 of this series, the Braves have Charlie Morton on the mound and the Royals send Brady Singer to counter. Morton is 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA, and Singer is 1-0 with a 4.91.
Let’s get into the odds for the Braves and Royals in Kansas City tonight.
Braves vs. Royals odds, run line and total
Braves vs. Royals prediction and pick
Brady Singer seemed poised to have a breakout season, but that hasn’t been the case in his first two starts. He has allowed six earned runs in 11.0 innings pitched and most of that damage came in his last outing against San Francisco.
He was much more comfortable at home against Toronto. Despite it being a small sample size there are some alarm bells going off because Singer is in the second percentile in hard hit percentage and average exit velocity.
He is also only 14th percentile in K% and whiff rate. He isn’t missing bats and when he’s giving up contact, it’s often very hard contact. That’s a bad recipe against any team, but especially Atlanta.
The thing is, it isn’t surprising to see that Singer had a much better start at home compared to on the road. Last season he had an 8-2 record at home with a 2.76 ERA, but a 2-3 record on the road with a 3.99 ERA.
Zack Greinke had similar home/road splits a year ago, so I think I’ll tend to trust KC pitchers at Kauffman Stadium a bit more.
The Royals offense has been rough this year. They’ve only scored 44 runs and have a .605 team OPS. They won’t beat up Charlie Morton much in this one, so I’m going to lean to the under, even with two pitchers that have ERA’s north of four on the mound.
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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change