Boston Red Sox (38-30 SU, O/U) v. Kansas City Royals (32-35 SU, O/U) at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri
Monday, June 19th, 2017 at 8:15 p.m. EST
Starting Pitchers: Hector Velazquez (R) 1-1, 6.48 ERA, 1.56 WHIP (BOS) v. Jason Hammel (R) 3-6, 5.05 ERA, 1.47 WHIP (KC)
Money Line: Boston -110/Kansas +100
The Kansas City Royals are hosting the Boston Red Sox on Monday in this American League matchup. The Red Sox have had a pretty nice season thus far. They’re 38-30, which puts them just one game behind the New York Yankees for first place in the AL East. The Royals have struggled a bit more than the Sox, but they’re still competitive in the AL Central. The Royals are 3.5 games behind the division-leading Minnesota Twins in the AL Central. Which club will close the gap in the standings with a win on Monday night?
Red Sox fall short in Houston
The Boston Red Sox are in the middle of an eight-game road trip, and Kansas City will be their last stop. The Sox came up short in their last game, a 7-1 loss to the Astros in Houston. Boston’s lineup struggled to get anything going against Houston’s pitching staff. They finished the game with just 3 hits. The Red Sox have had an impressive season at the plate. They’re hitting .266, which is the seventh best batting average in the big leauges. Furthermore, the Red Sox have a .337 on-base percentage, which ranks fourth-best in the majors.
Hector Velazquez will get the nod for the Sox in this matchup with the Royals. Velazquez hasn’t shown much in his rookie year. The right-handed 28-year-old has only appeared in two games this season. He started one of those games, a loss to the Oakland A’s. Velazquez gave up 9 hits and 6 earned runs in five innings against the Athletics. He was much more successful in his other outing, pitching 3 and 1/3 scoreless innings as a reliever in a win over the Phillies in Philadelphia. The Red Sox are hoping that their young hurler brings his best stuff against the Royals in the second major league start of his career.
Royals blanked by the Angels
The Kansas City Royals will be returning from a from a nine-game trip out to California on Monday. The Royals were lit up by the Los Angeles Angels in a 9-0 loss in Anaheim on Saturday. Kansas City’s lineup couldn’t get anything going in the shutout loss. They only had two hits against the Angels. The Royals have had one of the worst offenses in Major League Baseball. They’ve only scored 262 runs this season, which is the fourth-fewest in the big leagues. Furthermore, the Royals have the sixth-worst slugging percentage (.401).
Jason Hammel will get the start for the Royals in this matchup with the Red Sox. Hammel picked up his third win of the season in his last start against the Giants in San Francisco. The right-handed veteran gave up 8 hits and only one earned run in 6 and 2/3 innings against the Giants. Hammel has won his last two decisions. He’ll look to make it three in a row as he takes on a dangerous Red Sox lineup on Monday.
- 2-6 last 8 against Royals.
Kansas City is:
- 7-1 last 8 overall.
- 5-1 last 6 after a win.
Jason Hammel has been very impressive on the mound recently. He has a 2.21 ERA and a 2-0 record in three starts this month. Meanwhile, Hector Velazquez has been inconsistent, and this is just the second start of his major league career. Kansas City’s offense has been pretty reliable at home. They’ve averaged more than 5 runs in their last six games at Kauffman Stadium. Meanwhile, the Red Sox have struggled at the plate away from Boston. The Sox are averaging just 2.3 runs in their last six games. I like the Royals to win this one at home on Monday.
Pick: Kansas City Royals
While I expect the Royals to win this one, I don’t think they’ll be lighting up the scoreboard. The Red Sox have been atrocious at the plate recently, and they’re especially bad on the road. Jason Hammel’s ERA improves by over one run when he’s pitching at home in the past three seasons, so I expect him to keep a lid on Boston’s offense to start this game. The Red Sox will likely lean on their bullpen in this one, which should work out well. Boston’s pitching staff has a 3.94 ERA this season. I like the under in Kansas City on Monday.