Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Chicago Cubs left fielder Kyle Schwarber
Betting Odds: Chicago Cubs @ Kansas City Royals
- Cubs: -190 (Cole Hamels)
- Royals: +170 (Jakob Junis)
- Over/Under: 9 (-119o/+101u)
- First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET
>> All odds as of 4:00 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
Tonight in Kansas City, the lowly Royals host a Cubs team that will be fending off foes over the next two months to keep their grasp firm on the NL Central title. Newly acquired Cole Hamels will be making his second start with the club after a nice first impression last week against the Pirates. He went five strong with zero earned runs and nine strikeouts.
He’ll be up against Jakob Junis, whose ERA has ballooned from the mid-threes to over five since June. A large reason for this is his love of allowing dingers, which is a nasty habit to have if you’re an MLB pitcher. At 2.02 dongs per nine, he leads all qualified MLB pitchers. Not too far behind is ol’ Mr. Hamels himself, sporting a 1.73 HR/9 rate which is good for 4th highest out of 76 pitchers.
The atmosphere in KC tonight will not be good for a couple of meatballers. As I learned in my own forecast, Kauffman Stadium will boast close to 100 degree temps at first pitch and will remain in the 90s throughout the game.
Using Bet Labs, I found that there’s been 65 games at Kauffman since 2005 with an average temperature in the 90s. The record for the over has been 39-25-1, which is good for almost a 20% return on investment (ROI). Not a large sample, but what can you do?
With Kauffman a spacious pitchers park, it’s my opinion that oddsmakers aren’t adjusting enough for terrific hitting conditions such as these. I’m not one to opine, but I feel strongly about this one.
In addition to the hot temps, winds will be blowing out. Not good for Hamels and Junis, who seemingly can’t help but allow hard-hit fly balls in the first place.
With the total still at the opener of 9, I can’t help but take the over.
The pick: Over 9 (-119)
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