Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#923 Detroit Tigers 9.5 vs.
#924 Kansas City Royals -135
Friday, July 12, 2019 at 8:15pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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The two teams fighting to stay out of the cellar in the AL Central kick off a series in the Midwest. The Detroit Tigers are on the road to start the second half of the season as they play the opening game of a three-game set with the Kansas City Royals Friday night. Detroit was swept at home by the Red Sox in their last set before the All-Star break, falling 6-3 in the finale Sunday afternoon. Kansas City dropped the rubber game 5-2 in their road set with the Nationals Sunday. The Tigers own a 6-3 edge in the season series though the Royals took two of three at home in the last series between the teams June 11-13.

Detroit Tigers Hoping for Something Positive in Second Half

Detroit closed the first half of the season with three straight losses, six losses in seven games and 14 defeats in their last 16 after losing to Boston in the finale Sunday. The Tigers entered Friday in the basement of the AL Central by a percentage point: they were 26 games behind the Twins. Detroit got two hits from Nick Castellanos (RBI) while Brandon Dixon clubbed his 12th homer of the season in the defeat. Gregory Soto (0-3) took the loss on the mound as he allowed two runs on three hits with no walks and one strikeout over two innings of work.

Daniel Norris gets the ball for his 19th appearance and 16th start of the year for the Tigers in this contest. He comes in 2-8 with a 4.96 ERA, a 1.423 WHIP, 23 walks and 71 strikeouts over 90.2 innings of action this season. Norris took the loss in his last start, which came Wednesday on the road in the first game of a doubleheader against the White Sox. He threw five innings, allowing six runs on eight hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a 7-5 Tigers defeat. Norris is 0-3 with a 7.41 ERA, a 1.47 WHIP, four walks and 13 strikeouts over 17 innings in his last three starts. He is 1-2 with a 3.95 ERA, a 1.39 WHIP, 20 walks and 40 strikeouts over 54.2 innings in 11 career appearances, 10 starts, against the Royals. Norris is 1-0 with a 3.62 ERA, a 1.134 WHIP, seven walks and 20 strikeouts over 27.1 innings in five career starts at Kauffman Stadium.

Kansas City Royals Looking to the Future

Kansas City dropped eight of their final 10 games heading into the All-Star break as they were dropped in the rubber game Sunday by the Nationals. The Royals entered Friday fourth in the AL Central by a percentage point: they trailed the Twins by 27 games in the division race. Kansas City got two hits each from Alex Gordon (RBI) and Cheslor Cuthbert in the defeat. Jakob Junis turned in a quality start, allowing two runs on five hits with two walks and six strikeouts over seven innings, but recorded a no-decision. Jake Diekman (0-6) took the loss as he allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits with no walks or strikeouts over one-third of an inning.

Danny Duffy takes the mound for his 13th start of the season for the Royals in this contest. He is 3-5 with a 4.28 ERA, a 1.348 WHIP, 29 walks and 61 strikeouts over 75.2 innings of action this season. Duffy saw his winless stretch reach eight starts as he took the loss Wednesday at home against the Indians in his last outing. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits with five walks and three strikeouts in a 4-0 Kansas City defeat. Duffy is 0-2 with a 3.38 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, eight walks and 15 strikeouts over 21.1 innings in his last three starts. He is 8-10 with one save, a 4.39 ERA, a 1.289 WHIP, 51 walks and 116 strikeouts over 137.1 innings in 26 career appearances, 23 starts, against the Tigers. Duffy is 22-29 with a 4.14 ERA, a 1.349 WHIP, 190 walks and 384 strikeouts over 484.2 innings in 94 career appearances, 83 starts, at Kauffman Stadium.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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There isn’t a whole lot to hang your hat on for either side in this contest. Both teams struggled heading into the All-Star break as the teams are battling back and forth to stay out of the cellar in the AL Central. Both starters have had serious issues with getting in the win column: Norris’ last win came back on May 12 against the Twins while Duffy hasn’t won since beating the Rangers May 19. There’s not a ton of offensive weapons on either side and given the dismal numbers for both teams, you have to go on gut instinct. The Tigers have a better road record (16-25) than the Royals have at home (16-28): that gives them a razor thin nod in this contest.

Prediction: Detroit Tigers

Full-Game Total Pick

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We know that both teams have been inconsistent at best at the plate this season. Detroit is second-worst in the majors with 3.62 runs per game while ranking 28th with a .233 team batting average and 29th with 77 homers. Kansas City is 27th with 4.20 runs per game, 20th with a .245 team average and 28th with 87 long balls this season. The pitching hasn’t done favors for either side this season as the Tigers are 25th with a 4.98 team ERA while the Royals are 27th with a 5.08 mark. Will the lackluster arms or the silent bats get the upper hand in this one?

The under is 6-1-1 in the Tigers’ last 8 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400, 5-1 in their last 6 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400 and 3-1-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter. Kansas City has seen the under go 6-2 in their last 8 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game, 8-3 in their last 11 Friday games and 4-1 in Duffy’s last 5 starts overall. You can’t put much faith in the lineup for either side and this one ends up under the number.

Prediction: Under

First Five Innings Side Pick

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There’s not a lot of excitement to lean on for either side. The Tigers have been dismal at putting runs on the board but they have had decent success against Kansas City this season, winning six of the first nine meetings. Duffy has sputtered since a strong start to the season and the Royals aren’t overwhelming anyone at the plate as their guys that got off to hot starts like Hunter Dozier and Adalberto Mondesi have tapered off. Norris is due to bounce back at some point and this is a good chance to do so. The Tigers have the upper hand after five.

Prediction: Detroit Tigers

First Five Innings Total Bet

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There hasn’t been much in the way of offensive fireworks for either team this season. Detroit has mustered a total of 99 runs in the first three innings of games this year. On the other side, Kansas City has been hot early, putting up 155 runs in the first three frames, compared to 117 runs in innings four through six and 105 in seven through nine. Still, it’s hard to expect a ton of offense from two of the five worst offenses in the majors. This one ends up under the total after five frames.

Prediction: Under

Written By 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.