Royals vs. Cardinals prediction and odds for Memorial Day (Back KC as underdogs)

May 27, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) points
May 27, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Royals catcher Salvador Perez (13) points / Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The Kansas City Royals avoided a dreaded sweep at home against the Washington Nationals on Sunday with a 3-2 win, but the competition picks up with the Royals hitting the road to face the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals have been underperforming all year at 24-31 as the team's pitching staff has struggled. Adam Wainwright has had a slow start to the year after starting the year on the injured list, posting a 6.33 ERA, but will face a poor Royals lineup that has played a big role in the team's 16-38 start.

Despite the talent gap at the plate, can Wainwright justify being a big favorite? Here are the odds and our best bet:

Royals vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total

Royals vs. Cardinals prediction and pick

At 41 years old, Wainwright looks every bit of his age, unable to get past the sixth inning in any of his four starts and has allowed four or more earned runs in three of those games. He has struck out only 10 batters as his velocity continues to diminish and the Royals should be in a good spot to get back on track after hitting only .207 over the last 15 days.

The Royals will be leaning on Josh Statumont to keep the Cardinals lineup down. Typically a reliever, Staumont is going to operate as an opener for the first time on Monday.

While he has limited experience this season, he has been on the wrong side of some poor variance over the last two seasons, he was a standout reliever in 2021, posting a 2.88 ERA in over 65 innings out of the bullpen.

This season, he has a 4.76 ERA in limited time, but has a Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP) of 2.94, meaning that he needs some help from the Royals' defense. Outside of a blowup outing last week against the Nationals in which he allowed four earned runs in an inning., he has allowed only five earned runs in 16 innings.

Staumont has fine underlying metrics, but this is mainly a play against Wainwright's poor pitching. Even if the Cards are a talented roster, this is a teaam overvalued based on last season's success.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.