Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alex Gordon
Angels vs. Royals, 4:15 p.m. ET Monday
- Angels: -159
- Royals: +149
- Over/under: 9
Bet to Watch
This is an incredibly weird game. That’s one of the reasons I wanted to write about it. To start, you have two teams that aren’t going to be in the postseason. The Royals have lost nearly every game this month, and the Angels have suffered some injuries and are really just trying to tread water right now.
But that’s not really why this is weird: It’s the travel.
Both teams played Sunday, away from Kansas City. Both are flying to Kansas City, to play one makeup game, a 3:15 p.m. CST start. Then both teams are immediately flying out for road games Tuesday night (the Angels head to Boston, while Kansas City heads to Milwaukee). It’s one of the more odd travel spots I’ve seen on the schedule this year.
When I first modeled this game, I got about the right numbers as the market in terms of the total, but I also was using lineups that are more traditional than what we may see in this one-game weird setup. Regular position players may be getting the day off, which can throw a little less reliability into the model. I do like the under a little as well, but what I’d like to talk about here is the moneyline.
Who would ever want to bet a team like Kansas City? Me, of course! The Royals are just awful. They’ve lost nine of 10, and 17 of 20. Who could love them? Well, for one, Brad Keller is pitching for Kansas City, and he’s been one of their more reliable arms in his short time in the rotation. Meanwhile, Angels starter Tyler Skaggs was scratched from his last start with hamstring tightness after a tremendous run of consecutive quality starts over about a month. I think what you get from him here is more of an unknown quantity than usual.
The Angels just played extra innings Sunday, used a very large portion of their bullpen and now are smack in the middle of 11 games in a row heading on a road trip with a 24-hour stop in Kansas City. There is no reasonable motivation to play well; it’s essentially a dead spot in the schedule. When factoring in any type of reasonable home-field advantage, the price on the Royals offered in the market was better than what I thought it should be.
This is probably much closer to a coin-flip given all the factors involved, more unpredictability than usual, and I’m getting one team at about +150.
The Pick: Royals +149
Editor’s note: The opinion on this game is from the individual writer and is based on his research, analysis and perspective. It is independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.