The Royals took two out of three in Boston and will continue work in the AL East as they head down to Baltimore for three.
The Orioles might still want to believe they are contenders but they aren’t. The best Baltimore can hope to be is a respectable spoiler at this point in the season and the O’s might not be that good. Since sometime in late-May, they have been one of the worst teams in the AL.
The O’s are especially bad when Ubaldo Jimenez is their starting pitcher. ‘Baldo will start on Monday against a Kansas City lineup that is on a tear. The two guys at the top of the lineup are scary – Whit Merrifield is especially underrated as a guy who does a little bit of everything. He became the sixth player in Major League history to put up 175 hits, 80 runs, 40 doubles and 20 stolen bases in his first 162 career games over the weekend. Jose Altuve is a superstar but besides him, Merrifield is on a level with every other second baseman in the AL.
Jorge Bonifacio is a bull and then you get into the heart of the lineup – a deep middle from Cain to Hosmer to Perez to Moustakas. There is no lineup playing better offense than the Royals right now in the American League. Moustakas hit his 30th home runs of the season at Fenway on Friday.
Then they also went out and added Melky Cabrera on Sunday for two minor league prospects who aren’t particularly highly-touted. He’ll play some outfield and DH to add some depth in the outfield. Ned Yost may not be able to keep Alex Gordon in the lineup for much longer if he continues hitting .202.
It sure feels like Kansas City is going to hit its way to a win on Monday and if the offense doesn’t score as many runs as I think it may, Danny Duffy can always pitch his team to a win. He’s consistent so he doesn’t throw many shutouts, nor does he often fail to throw a quality start but Duffy still has a 1.27 WHIP. Kansas City is 6-3 in his last nine starts.
I have Kansas City as a huge favorite, even if the game is in Baltimore. There’s no way Jimenez is holding up and the ‘pen isn’t great until they get to Britton. The Royals at -130 is a savvy buy on Monday.
Free Pick: Royals (-130)