Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports Pictured: Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Marco Estrada
Betting Odds: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals
- Blue Jays Moneyline: -147 (Marco Estrada)
- Royals Moneyline: +133 (Jorge Lopez)
- Over/Under: 9.5 (+105o/-125u)
- First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 11:15 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
After putting myself in the shoes of some of the most miserable baseball fans in the world, it’s time to take a breather from the world of contrarianism.
I saw what it was like to be a Mets fan Monday night … and Tuesday night. I rode the roller coaster that was the Marlins first-five innings moneyline, a bet that ultimately ended as a push.
Now we head to Kansas City, but not for anything contrarian.
Instead I am looking for runs. And if you’re looking for runs, you can do worse than just following Estrada around.
Since returning from a glute injury (and then a blister) at the end of July, he’s turned in three starts, two of which have been largely ineffective.
His strikeout numbers this year are way down compared to the past two seasons, and he’s been very susceptible to the home run.
His metrics (lower-than-average BABIP, high ERA-xFIP difference) indicate more regression may be on the way. And this is all driving the Blue Jays crazy because they were hoping to trade him by the end of the month to a contending team.
With Estrada struggling like this and having recent injury concerns, Toronto might not find a buyer. In terms of tonight’s game, that really doesn’t mean a whole lot except that he’s been poor this season, and quite hittable.
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Kansas City will start Lopez, a pitcher they acquired from Milwaukee in the Mike Moustakas trade. The right-hander experienced limited action with the Brewers, usually in mop-up duty and was insanely lucky with his statistics.
He had almost no clean innings but managed to get into and out of jams with regularity. He’s made very few starts in even the minor leagues recently, so it’s tough to say how long he’ll be asked to go Wednesday.
At a minimum, this increases the likelihood we see the Royals bullpen a lot, and if you know anything about the Royals bullpen, you know that means runs — lots and lots of runs.
Kansas City has the worst bullpen ERA in the majors, and some of that was accrued with the talented Kelvin Herrera on the team. (Herrera was traded to Washington on June 18.)
The game factors at play here are also conducive to offense. Temperatures will be in the low 80s for most of the game, with almost no wind.
Projected home plate umpire Chris Segal has gifted 8% more runs than an average umpire when he’s been behind the plate, as well.
Combined with the pitching projections and bullpens, that’s enough to make the over a bet for me at this number.
The Bet: Over 9.5