Upcoming Free Picks

Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros,
6-24-2018 - Pick and Prediction

This is a past game! View all upcoming MLB games instead!

Game Snapshot with Current Line

#971 Kansas City
Royals 8
#972 Houston
Astros -360

Sunday, June 24, 2018 at 2:10pm

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Game Stats

Kansas City Royals
J. HAMMEL

23 - 53

2
W's
8
L's
5.08
ERA
1.45
WHIP

Houston Astros
G. COLE

51 - 27

8
W's
1
L's
2.59
ERA
0.89
WHIP

Betting Trends

All MLB

No betting trends available for this game. Click here to see all available for MLB.

It’s a matchup between a team already waving the white flag and one looking to continue their recent dominance in the American League down in the Lone Star State. The Kansas City Royals look to steal a series on the road as they finish a three game set with the Houston Astros Sunday afternoon. Kansas City scraped out a nail-biting 1-0 victory on Friday night to open the series. The pitching matchup for Saturday’s middle game of the set saw Ian Kennedy take the mound for the Royals: he was scheduled to face Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. First pitch in that contest was set for 7:15 pm ET.

Kansas City Royals Wheeling and Dealing

Kansas City clearly is going nowhere this season and has already waved the white flag: the question now is who else may be dealt by the trade deadline. The Royals improved to 23-52 on the season and entered Saturday in the cellar of the AL Central, 18.5 games behind the Indians. Rosell Herrera (RBI) was the hero of the game as he stole a home run away from Houston’s Alex Bregman in the eighth inning and tripled in the game’s only run in the ninth. Herrera and Alcides Escobar each had two hits for ansas City. Danny Duffy recorded a no-decision for the Royals as he threw six scoreless frames, allowing two hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. Justin Grimm (1-2) earned the win in relief with a scoreless eighth while Tim Hill worked the ninth for his first save.

Jason Hammel gets the ball to make his 16th start of the year for Kansas City in this one. He comes in 2-8 with a 4.88 ERA, a 1.45 WHIP, 25 walks and 59 strikeouts over 90.1 innings of work this season. Hammel took the loss in his last start, which came Tuesday at home against the Rangers. He allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits with four walks and four strikeouts over 5.2 innings in a 4-1 Royals loss. Hammel is 0-3 with a 4.26 ERA, a 1.53 WHIP, five walks and 13 strikeouts over 19 innings in his last three starts. He makes his 10th career appearance and ninth start against the Astros in this contest. Hammel is 2-2, a 2.85 ERA, a 0.95 WHIP, 11 walks and 36 strikeouts over 53.2 innings. He is 1-1 with a 4.62 ERA, a 0.947 WHIP, seven walks and 17 strikeouts over 25.1 innings in four career starts at Minute Maid Park.

Houston Astros Opening Up AL West Race

Even after falling for the second time in four games, Houston has won 14 of 16 entering Saturday’s contest. The Astros fell to 50-27 on the year and hold a 3.5 game advantage over the Mariners in the AL West. Houston bounced into more double plays (three) than hits (two): Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve each had a knock for the Astros. Dallas Keuchel recorded a no-decision after throwing six scoreless frames, allowing six hits with two walks and six strikeouts. Ken Giles (0-2) took the loss as he allowed one run on two hits with a strikeout in his one inning of work. Houston was 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position.

Gerrit Cole takes the mound as he makes his 16th start of the season in this contest for the Astros. He is 8-1 with a 2.59 ERA, a 0.894 WHIP, 30 walks and 138 strikeouts over 100.2 innings of work this season. Cole recorded a no-decision in his last start, which came Monday at home against the Rays. He threw seven innings, allowing four runs on three hits with five walks and eight strikeouts in a game Houston rallied to win 5-4. Cole is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA, a 1.16 WHIP, 10 walks and 22 strikeouts over 19 innings in his last three starts. He lost his lone career start against the Royals, which came with the Pirates on July 21, 2015. Cole threw 7.1 innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on five hits with no walks and six strikeouts in a 3-1 Pirates loss. He is 2-1 with a 3.02 ERA, a 0.881 WHIP, 12 walks and 68 strikeouts over 47.2 innings in seven career starts at Minute Maid Park.

Trends:

Kansas City

  • Royals are 5-21 in their last 26 vs. American League West
  • Royals are 1-5 in their last 6 Sunday games
  • Royals are 4-22 in their last 26 during game 3 of a series

Houston

  • Astros are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 3 of a series
  • Astros are 13-3 in their last 16 overall
  • Astros are 13-3 in their last 16 games on grass

The Royals are struggling and even though they won the opening game of this set, it doesn’t inspire confidence that they can take the series. You simply aren’t going to keep the Astros in check: Friday marked the first time Houston had been blanked since May 11. Even with that sparkling pitching, the Royals didn’t score themselves until the ninth inning to give them the slimmest of margins. Cole has been dynamic in his first season with the Astros: look for him to deliver a victory here in the finale.

Pick: Houston Astros -340

Hammel has fallen off a cliff over the last couple of seasons. After being left off the postseason roster for the Cubs in 2016 when they won the World Series, he signed a deal with the Royals. Since that point, he’s gone 10-21 with a 5.15 ERA and a 1.433 WHIP over 47 starts. That’s not the kind of results you want from a guy that was signed to a two year, $16 million deal with a $12 million option/$2 million buyout for 2019. Throw in the trades that sent Jon Jay and Kelvin Herrera out of town already and the rebuild is in full swing already. Cole has been electric as he has found something that has improved the spin on his fastball, which has in turn ramped up his strikeout total. Houston is a dangerous team and they can’t be stifled too often at the plate.

Kansas City has seen the under go 4-0 in their last four overall, 4-0 in their last four on grass, 4-0 in their last four against the AL West, 6-1 in their last seven on the road, 6-1 in their last seven on the road against teams with a winning record and 4-1 in the third game of their last five series. Houston has seen the under go 9-2 in their last 11 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400 and 12-4 in their last 16 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30. The Royals don’t score much and with Cole on the mound, that seems even more likely: look for this one to fall short of the total.

Under 8

4

Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.

Login

Forgot Password?
Forgot your password? Enter your email and we'll send you a reset token:

Return to login
Enter the token from your email and a new password. Don't forget to check your spam folder if you didn't get the email.

Upcoming Free Picks

Bank the Bet Podcast
Tuesday, Sep 25
MLB
#979 Kansas City Royals
#980 Cincinnati Reds
6:40pm
View Pick
#951 Miami Marlins 7.5
#952 Washington Nationals -330
7:05pm
View Pick
#965 Houston Astros
#966 Toronto Blue Jays
7:05pm
View Pick
#953 Atlanta Braves 7
#954 New York Mets -150
7:10pm
View Pick
#967 Baltimore Orioles
#968 Boston Red Sox
7:10pm
View Pick
#969 New York Yankees
#970 Tampa Bay Rays
7:10pm
View Pick
#955 Pittsburgh Pirates
#956 Chicago Cubs
8:05pm
View Pick
#971 Detroit Tigers
#972 Minnesota Twins
8:10pm
View Pick
#973 Cleveland Indians
#974 Chicago White Sox
8:10pm
View Pick
#957 Milwaukee Brewers
#958 St. Louis Cardinals
8:15pm
View Pick
#959 Philadelphia Phillies
#960 Colorado Rockies
8:40pm
View Pick
#961 Los Angeles Dodgers
#962 Arizona Diamondbacks
9:40pm
View Pick
#975 Texas Rangers
#976 Los Angeles Angels
10:05pm
View Pick
#977 Oakland Athletics
#978 Seattle Mariners
10:10pm
View Pick
#963 San Diego Padres
#964 San Francisco Giants
10:15pm
View Pick
Thursday, Sep 27
NFL
#101 Minnesota Vikings 47.5
#102 Los Angeles Rams -6.5
8:20pm
View Pick
NCAAF
#103 North Carolina
#104 Miami - FL
8:00pm
View Pick
Friday, Sep 28
NCAAF
#105 Memphis
#106 Tulane
8:00pm
View Pick
#107 UCLA
#108 Colorado
9:00pm
View Pick
Saturday, Sep 29
NCAAF
#109 Army
#110 Buffalo
12:00pm
View Pick
#113 Central Michigan
#114 Michigan State
12:00pm
View Pick
#123 Bowling Green
#124 Georgia Tech
12:00pm
View Pick
#127 Temple
#128 Boston College
12:00pm
View Pick
#129 Syracuse
#130 Clemson
12:00pm
View Pick
#145 Indiana
#146 Rutgers
12:00pm
View Pick
#173 UL Lafayette
#174 Alabama
12:00pm
View Pick
#183 West Virginia
#184 Texas Tech
12:00pm
View Pick
#189 Oklahoma State
#190 Kansas
12:00pm
View Pick
#211 Arkansas
#212 Texas A&M
12:00pm
View Pick
#143 Virginia
#144 NC State
12:20pm
View Pick
#135 UL Monroe
#136 Georgia State
2:00pm
View Pick
#137 UMass
#138 Ohio U
2:00pm
View Pick
#117 Kent State
#118 Ball State
3:00pm
View Pick
#111 Cincinnati
#112 UConn
3:30pm
View Pick
#119 Rice
#120 Wake Forest
3:30pm
View Pick
#121 ODU
#122 East Carolina
3:30pm
View Pick
#131 South Alabama
#132 Appalachian State
3:30pm
View Pick
#139 Pittsburgh
#140 UCF
3:30pm
View Pick
#157 Western Michigan
#158 Miami - OH
3:30pm
View Pick
#159 Florida State
#160 Louisville
3:30pm
View Pick
#165 Tennessee
#166 Georgia
3:30pm
View Pick
#175 Baylor
#176 Oklahoma
3:30pm
View Pick
#179 Purdue
#180 Nebraska
3:30pm
View Pick
#181 Texas
#182 Kansas State
3:30pm
View Pick
#197 Coastal Carolina
#198 Troy
3:30pm
View Pick
#147 Nevada
#148 Air Force
4:00pm
View Pick
#169 Southern Miss
#170 Auburn
4:00pm
View Pick
#209 Michigan
#210 Northwestern
4:30pm
View Pick
#115 Northern Illinois
#116 Eastern Michigan
6:00pm
View Pick
#149 Utah
#150 Washington State
6:00pm
View Pick
#163 Arkansas State
#164 Georgia Southern
6:00pm
View Pick
#167 Liberty
#168 New Mexico
6:00pm
View Pick
#193 Florida
#194 Mississippi St
6:00pm
View Pick
#199 FAU
#200 Middle Tennessee State
7:00pm
View Pick
#205 Hawaii
#206 San Jose State
7:00pm
View Pick
#203 Boise State
#204 Wyoming
7:00pm
View Pick
#187 Charlotte
#188 UAB
7:00pm
View Pick
#177 UTEP
#178 UTSA
7:00pm
View Pick
#171 Iowa State
#172 TCU
7:00pm
View Pick
#133 Virginia Tech
#134 Duke
7:00pm
View Pick
#141 South Carolina
#142 Kentucky
7:30pm
View Pick
#161 Ohio State
#162 Penn State
7:30pm
View Pick
#185 Louisiana Tech
#186 North Texas
7:30pm
View Pick
#191 Marshall
#192 Western Kentucky
7:30pm
View Pick
#207 Stanford
#208 Notre Dame
7:30pm
View Pick
#153 BYU
#154 Washington
8:30pm
View Pick
#195 Ole Miss
#196 LSU
9:00pm
View Pick
#151 Oregon State
#152 Arizona State
10:00pm
View Pick
#155 Toledo
#156 Fresno State
10:30pm
View Pick
#201 USC
#202 Arizona
10:30pm
View Pick
#213 Oregon
#214 California
10:30pm
View Pick
Sunday, Sep 30
NFL
#251 Miami Dolphins 48
#252 New England Patriots -7
1:00pm
View Pick
#253 Houston Texans 47
#254 Indianapolis Colts -1.5
1:00pm
View Pick
#257 Buffalo Bills 44
#258 Green Bay Packers -10
1:00pm
View Pick
#265 Philadelphia Eagles
#266 Tennessee Titans
1:00pm
View Pick