MLB Expert Picks for Friday: Can the Royals Shock the Astros?

MLB Expert Picks for Friday: Can the Royals Shock the Astros? article feature image

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Kansas City Royals designated hitter Jorge Soler (12).

  • Our MLB staffers detail their favorite bets for Wednesday, September 11 including Astros at Royals (8:15 p.m ET).

Sean Zerillo: Baltimore Orioles at Detroit Tigers

Aaron Brooks (2-5, 7.54 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmermann (1-10, 6.27 ERA)

  • Orioles Moneyline: 100
  • Tigers Moneyline: -110
  • Over/Under: 9.5
  • First pitch: 7:10 p.m. ET

I was surprised to find this total bet back down to 9.5, where it opened, after touching 10 for a bit. I projected this game for 10.8 runs.

More than 75% of tickets and 90% of cash bet on this total are on the over, indicating sharp liability on the under, so I’ll be with the public on this one.

Unders have been extremely profitable on Fridays this season, winning at a 55.7% rate (+26 units); compared to 49.1% (-75 units) on the other days of the week.

But between my projection and the weather, I’m happy to go against that trend.

With the wind blowing out to left at Comerica Park, at speeds of 10 mph or more, the Over is 44-22-7 (66.7%, +$2,030, 27.8%) dating back to 2005

In general, it’s a profitable move to bet on the over with wind speeds of 7 mph or higher blowing straight out or to left field:

The PICK: Over 9.5

John Ewing: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals

Gerrit Cole (16-5, 2.73 ERA) vs. Danny Duffy (6-6, 4.71 ERA)

  • Astros Moneyline: -420
  • Royals Moneyline: +350
  • Over/Under: 8.5
  • First pitch: 8:15 p.m. ET

The Astros are the largest favorite on Friday’s slate. Bookmakers list Houston as -420 favorites on the road in Kansas City.

The ‘Stros have outscored their opponents by 238 runs this season – best in baseball. KC is 37 games under .500. Houston is starting Gerrit Cole who is 16-5 in 2019, while the Royals starter, Danny Duffy, has a 4.71 ERA.

Houston is good, Kansas City is bad. But should bettors feel confident wagering $420 to win $100 on the Astros?

Favorites of -400 or greater are rare in baseball and it hasn’t been profitable to bet on them. Since 2005, these teams are 9-4, $100 bettor would be down $190 wagering on them.

Only one team during this time has been a road favorite of -400 or great: Houston -462 at Baltimore (8/11/19). The Astros lost to the O’s.

This is a small sample size but baseball is incredibly random from one game to the next. I’d never bet a -400 favorite but I would take a shot on an underdog at +350 like the Royals.

The PICK: Royals +350

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