Astros vs. Royals Odds, Preview, Prediction: Is Houston Overvalued as Road Favorite in Kansas City? (Monday, August 16)

Astros vs. Royals Odds, Preview, Prediction: Is Houston Overvalued as Road Favorite in Kansas City? (Monday, August 16) article feature image
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Nick Cammett/Diamond Images via Getty Images. Pictured: Jake Odorizzi

  • The Astros travel to Kansas City to begin a series with the Royals on Monday night.
  • Jake Odorizzi takes the mound against youngster Carlos Hernández.
  • Anthony Dabbundo breaks down the matchup and makes his betting pick below.

Astros vs. Royals Odds

Astros Odds -155
Royals Odds +135
Over/Under 10
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Monday morning and via DraftKings.

Houston dropped the finale of its series with the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday and was unable to extend its division lead to more than 2.5 games over Oakland. The Astros are entering an easy stretch of their schedule starting on Monday when they travel to Kansas City for a four-game series with the Royals.

Despite Houston being the far better team, they’re overpriced on the road here as right-handed starter Jake Odorizzi has been a subpar starter this year and is overpriced as a road favorite.

Houston Astros

The Astros have been the league’s best offense this year in almost every metric. They strike out less than any other team and have the highest OPS+. They rank near the top of the league in most on-base and power categories. The Astros have benefitted from the league’s highest BABIP away from Minute Maid Park, though, so there could be some regression there.

Odorizzi has been well below average as a starter this season and has been consistently overvalued in the market. His 4.59 ERA, 4.94 FIP and 93 ERA+ are all below-average metrics and his batted ball data don’t offer much optimism for the future. He’s in the 25th percentile in xwOBA allowed, doesn’t strike many guys out and is in the 28th percentile in hard hit rate.

Odorizzi has never had an xERA below four in his career. His 2.61 K/BB ratio is also the third-lowest in his eight-year career. Odorizzi has allowed at least three runs in four of his last five starts and hasn’t been able to go deep into games frequently. He has a 5.11 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP away from home this year, far worse than he’s been at home.

Kansas City Royals

The value on Kansas City in this game doesn’t come from its offense, but from its starting pitcher. Righty Carlos Hernández has impressed for the Royals thus far this year with a 111 ERA+, a 3.85 FIP and 10 strikeouts per nine innings. Hernández’s ERA is a bit lower at 4.11, but his xERA is sub-4.00. He’s in the upper half of pitchers in xwOBA and hard hit rate and should be able to avoid some of the Houston bats in this matchup.

Hernández sits in the high 90s with his fastball and mixes in a curve and slider in the mid-80s. He’s generating a lot of swings and misses with his off-speed pitches and all three of his primary pitches have an xBA against of .230 or lower. He’s also faced good lineups in recent weeks, shutting down the White Sox twice and the Yankees once.

He’s proven he can succeed against good lineups and the Royals’ starting pitching edge is the angle I’m looking to bet here.

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Astros-Royals Pick

It’s always difficult to bet against Houston with how potent its offense is, but the Astros are overvalued here with Odorizzi as a starter. His road splits are terrible and while I have little faith in the Royals’ bullpen, KC should be able to keep it close for the first five innings.

The Royals have seen some promising signs from Hernández and are undervalued in the opening five.

Pick: Kansas City +0.5 first five innings (-110)

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