The Royals start a series against the Rangers on Monday, the second series between the two teams within the first month of the season.
After dropping two of three to the Rangers last week, the Royals will try to outduel Jacob deGrom and get a quality start out of Jordan Lyles. With the former Cy Young winner on the mound for Texas, Kansas City is a massive home underdog. While I'm not calling an outright upset, I believe that this game can be tighter than expected.
Let me explain why I like the under in this Monday night matchup:
Rangers vs. Royals odds, run line and total
Rangers vs. Royals prediction and pick
This is the same matchup as last week's 8-5 Rangers win in extra innings, but the high scoring affair wasn't due to the starting pitching. deGrom tossed seven innings of two run baseball while Lyles allowed four in 6 1/3 innings.
The bullpens both got tagged and sent the game well over the total, but I like both starters to lock it down again on Monday night.
The Royals are the second worst hitting team in baseball this season, posting a batting average of .211, and the team has the worst weighted runs created plus mark (wRC+) in all of Major League Baseball. Against arguably the best pitcher in baseball, this team is going to really struggle to string together hits.
However, the reason why I like the under so much is Lyles' underlying metrics. He has a 5.19 ERA that is supported by a Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 3.79 while limiting his walks. The Rangers offense is right around the big league average, but I believe that Lyles will thrive against this lineup after a decent showing last week.
With the bullpens making me wary of a full game under, I'll take the first five unders since I fancy both pitching matchups.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.