Mike Dinovo-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Alex Gordon
MLB Betting: Royals vs. Twins
- Royals: Heath Fillmyer (+181)
- Twins: Jake Odorizzi (-191)
- Over/Under: 9.5
- First pitch: 8:10 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.
Four days, four overs, four winners this week in my “Bet to Watch” series. I could have picked a few things to write about on Friday’s slate, but just for the sake of consistency and karma, I think it’s a great idea to end the week where we began: banking on runs.
It may seem counter-intuitive, then, to settle on the Royals. Their offense is by no means outstanding. But the factors at play in this game are worth exploring.
The crux of the argument for the over is this: these teams have two of the worst bullpens in Major League Baseball (Kansas City’s is actually probably THE worst, ranking 30th in bullpen ERA and FIP). And the two starters pitching tonight, while ineffective, are also allergic to going deep into games. There is the potential for offense throughout here, as Jake Odorizzi and Heath Fillmyer scare no one, but this may be a heavy bullpen game, and these bullpens don’t shut down anyone.
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Odorizzi was considered a pretty good addition when he was traded to Minnesota from Tampa Bay, but the results just haven’t been there all year. Among his plethora of average-to-below-average statistics, I find it absolutely amazing that not once this season has he gone more than 6 innings in a start. Not once! Which means we should see the Minnesota bullpen a really high percentage of the time. And that is great for the over.
Also important is the fact that the Royals, as currently constructed with their healthy players, can field a lineup that hits righties pretty well. Alex Gordon, Lucas Duda, and even Adalberto Mondesi all sport much better splits in that direction. The Royals don’t hit particularly well, but this situation affords them about the best chance to do what they can do.
We know the Kansas City bullpen is awful, but most importantly, spot-starter Heath Fillmyer is probably going to make the relievers pitch a lot of innings. In addition to not going deep in any of his small number of starts, he also doesn’t possess good stuff. In his last start against the Yankees, he generated only 3 swinging strikes in 84 pitches(!) His statistical profile indicates he’s a pitcher almost destined for regression. This is a bad combination for those who like quick games.
The weather shouldn’t give any pause, either, with game-time temperatures hovering in the low 80’s, generally good for run scoring. I will look to the over here, and hope the offenses can take advantage of all the subpar pitching they are going to see throughout the game.
The Bet: Over 9.5
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.