The Royals have chased down the Rays in the AL Wild Card, were chasing down New York and, as a result, are now in pursuit of the Boston Red Sox, instead.
Kansas City’s in at Fenway Park last night was its ninth in a row. The Royals are only two games back of Cleveland for first place in the Central. But the win also knocked Boston from first place in the East and sent it down into the Wild Card, with Kansas City percentage points behind.
David Price‘s DL stint has shuffled the rotation this weekend. Eduardo Rodriguez has been bumped up to start on Saturday in a game Boston should be feeling some pressure to win. The Royals will pass them with another result like last night.
Numbers aside, Eddie Rodriguez has been Boston’s no. two starting pitcher. He’s looked strong in his two starts since coming off the DL, dotting fastballs and sliders, in spite of so-so results.
If you go straight by the numbers, Rodriguez is right there with Price and Drew Pomeranz. They all have ERAs between 3.60 and 3.90, WHIPs between 1.30 and 1.45 and opponent batting averages around .240. The ball looks to be coming out of E-Rod’s hand the best, to me, and I wouldn’t be on Kansas City to score any more than four runs tonight, even if that lineup is hot.
Four still might be plenty against Boston; it was last night. The Red Sox keep failing to score runs, keep hitting under and the books in Vegas haven’t moved the needle. Boston’s team total is at 5.0 again on Saturday, even with Trevor Cahill throwing the ball well for the Royals.
Cahill is 4-3 in 11 starts with a 3.69 ERA and peripherals to back it up. It’s been a resurgence for a guy who looked like a young stud coming up with Oakland about seven, eight years ago and then fell off the face of the baseball world. He wasn’t very good in his last start in San Francisco, giving up seven hits and six runs without getting through the fourth inning. In fact, he’s been a little up and down in July after missing all of June on the Disabled List.
No matter, the Red Sox occasionally get a big game out of Mookie Betts or, even less often, Hanley Ramirez will come to play. Other than that, they are a pretty hopeless bunch when it comes to putting up more than a few runs a game. I like both teams to go under their total; and therefore, the under on the game total even more.
Free Pick: Under 9.5 (-120)