Brad Keller takes the mound for our Royals today, squaring off with Alex Cobb of the San Francisco Giants in a rematch of the 2014 World Series.
Both clubs are off to mediocre starts due to inconsistent offenses. With how difficult the Royals' schedule has been to start the year, this represents a great opportunity for Kansas City to pick up its first series win of 2023.
Keller and Cobb both pitched fairly well in their first starts of the year, though neither made it through the fifth inning. As they round into midseason form, does either pitcher have a edge? Perhaps the value lies on the total instead of a side?
Let's jump into the odds and find out.
Royals vs. Giants Odds, Spread, and Total
Royals vs. Giants Prediction and Pick
I'm weary of both offenses and expect a solid year from each pitcher. While I like the idea of buying low on the Royals, I can't ignore how bad the lineup is performing. As a result, I see value on the under.
It's only been a week, but Kansas City's offense is historically bad right now. It's dead-last in MLB in OPS (.519), and the team has scored one or zero runs in four of its seven games. Alex Cobb has been impressive the last several years despite his baseline numbers, with a 2.92 FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) in 2021 and a 2.80 FIP in 2022. Barring a defensive debacle (which the Giants are known for), it's hard to see this iteration of the Royals' lineup putting up much of a fight.
Both Cobb and Keller were impressive last week. Cobb compiled a 1.92 xERA while Keller unveiled a new breaking ball and wracked up six strikeouts in just under five innings of work. No team strikes out more than the Giants per game (12.60) so far and I expect Keller to have success as a result.
San Francisco has scored three or fewer runs in three of its last five games. Expect both clubs' offensive ineptitude to continue and back the under in this series opener.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.