The Kansas City Royals (7-14, 5-8 home) host the St. Louis Cardinals (13-9, 6-4 away) in game two of an in-state, cross-division series. St. Louis won the opener, 1-0, which was a makeup contest originally scheduled for April 13th.
Tuesday’s battle has an 8:10 p.m. EST first pitch at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, MO. St. Louis is a road favorite in game two (-120), and the over-under total is seven runs.
What to Know – St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis has won two in a row and four of its last six games after a three-game losing streak early last week. The Cardinals are in second place in the NL Central, 1.5 games behind the leading Milwaukee Brewers.
Right-hander Dakota Hudson (2-1, 2.75 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) gets the call on the mound for the visitors. The 27-year-old has posted two consecutive starts spanning 12.2 innings without allowing a run. In four trips to the hill, Hudson has allowed six earned runs over 19.2 innings with 14 strikeouts.
Third baseman Nolan Arenado continues his torrid start at the plate. Arenado is hitting .359 and has successfully gotten a hit in five-straight contests. The six-time All-Star has an OPS of 1.111, second in the majors.
The Cardinals’ offense averages 4.1 runs per game and ranks 16th in the MLB with a .234 team batting average. The pitching staff for St. Louis is sixth in the majors, with a 3.15 team earned run average.
What to Know – Kansas City Royals
The Royals have dropped three in a row, and four of their last five as the franchise continues to rebuild its roster. Kansas City’s woes have dropped the team to last in the AL Central, six games out of the top spot.
The projected starter for the Royals is righty Brad Keller (0-2, 2.19 ERA, 0.77 WHIP). Keller was a victim of bad luck in April, getting little run support in three quality starts. The five-year pro has surrendered six earned runs over four starts, scattering 14 hits and punching out 17.
Just one starter is hitting above .225 in the Royals lineup, and that’s outfielder Andrew Benintendi with a .365 batting average. The average at the plate ranks sixth amongst qualified batters in the MLB. Catcher Salvador Perez hasn’t lost his power from last season, but the slugging catcher is sporting just a .185 batting average in 81 at-bats.
The Royals score three runs per game and are last in the majors with 63 runs scored. Kansas City’s .212 team batting average is 27th in the league, and its pitching staff ranks the same behind a 4.48 team ERA.
The Pick is In
Tuesday’s clash features another pair of quality arms battling it out on the mound. The St. Louis Cardinals have the upper hand offensively, and behind the bat of Arenado will hand the Royals and Keller another tough defeat.
Betting Pick: St. Louis Cardinals ML