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September 14, 2016

There is one MLB pick tonight. Please scroll down to view the details.

Take Kansas City Royals (-120) on the ML against Oakland A's risking 3.6% to win 3%.
(Ventura and Manaea must start for wager to have action)

The Royals have made it to the World Series two years in a row and won it all last year after falling just short in 2014! But if they want to head back there for the third consecutive season, they have their work cut out for them. Because if the season was to end today, they wouldn't even be in the playoffs! Ned Yost and his club no doubt want to play October baseball and head to the post-season for more magic and if that's the case, they need to start piling up 'W's' before it's too late. They currently find themselves 5 games behind a Wild Card spot and have little margin for error.

Kansas City is in a big bounce back spot tonight. That's because after losing the opener of this 4-game series on Monday, they played much better yesterday when Danny Duffy took the hill but even that wasn't enough. The bullpen hasn't been as solid as it normally is over the last few weeks and that was again the case last night. A Ryon Healy home run put the A's back in the game in the latter innings and eventually saw former Royal, Ryan Madson close out the game. Having now been defeated on back-to-back nights by the lowly Athletics, it's fair to say they now have the Royals' full attention. And that is bad news considering that KC is 118-95 over the last 3 seasons following a loss. More specifically, the Royals have gone 17-7 after a loss if Yordano Ventura is the starting pitcher, over the last couple of seasons!

Kansas City isn't as good a team as they were last year but this is still a squad made up of some outstanding players. All-Stars Salvador Perez and Eric Hosmer don't take losses lightly and the same goes for the competitive veterans that are Alex Gordon and Alcides Escobar. They are complemented by some young talent in the likes of Cuthbert and Merrifield. This is a team that has a nice mix of youth and experience and remains hungry for more accolades. Early in the season, they won a lot of games by 1-run and that gave them a false sense of security. Now that they've been on the receiving end of some losses like that, we've seen a shift in their attitude. They now realize that nothing can be taken for granted in this game and that giving less than 100% leads to poor results, even against inferior opposition.

Ventura has had an inconsistent season, showing some flashes of brilliance as well as some rough outings. Nonetheless, he's played in high pressure games before and is used to pitching at this ballpark. There is a lot of room to cover in the outfield at Kauffman Stadium and since the A's are playing the likes of Danny Valencia (normally an infielder) there, they may not be at their best defensively. Stephen Vogt is also getting the day off from catching duties for a club that is in rebuilding mode and has little to play for. Bob Melvin and his staff are clearly experimenting with not only fringe players but also new strategies and that bodes well for the home side. Because unlike Oakland, Kansas City really needs every game right now and we expect them to find a way to win this one. They have the much better set of relievers and if this becomes a battle of the bullpens, we believe they'll come out victorious. Ned Yost's team is not only the better side but the more motivated one in this matchup. At this reduced price, there is value in backing them.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Royals are 14-5 at home after two or more straight games go 'Over'.
  • Royals have won 18 of 25 games at home when the total was set at 8 or 8.5 runs!
  • Oakland is just 18-47 on the road against teams with winning records over the second half of the last 3 seasons!

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