Friday MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: White Sox vs. Royals Betting Preview (May 7)

Friday MLB Odds, Picks, Prediction: White Sox vs. Royals Betting Preview (May 7) article feature image
Credit:

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Rodon.

  • The Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox will go to battle in an AL Central matchup on Friday night.
  • With Brad Keller and Carlos Rodon on the mound, Michael Arinze is turning his attention toward the total in this game.
  • Check out Arinze's full betting guide complete with updated odds and a pick below.

White Sox vs. Royals Odds

White Sox Odds -157
Royals Odds +135
Over/Under 8.5 (-105 / -117)
Time 8:10 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Friday morning and via DraftKings.

The Kansas City Royals have cooled off considerably after a 16-9 start. They’ve lost their last five games and now welcome in a Chicago White Sox team they’ve defeated just twice in their last 12 games.

Carlos Rodón will get the start for Chicago, and all he’s done is win each of his four outings this season in addition to throwing a no-hitter. He’ll be opposed by Brad Keller, who’ll be tasked with halting Kansas City’s five-game skid. Keller’s 8.06 ERA suggests he hasn’t come close to enjoying the success Rodón has had this season.

However, I’ll tell you why you shouldn’t be surprised if this game ends up being a low-scoring affair.

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The Emergence of Carlos Rodón

In April, I did a deep dive into Rodón’s resurgence when I played the under in his second start of the year. And in a true reflection of how this season has gone for me, that ticket was dead in the water after the sixth inning.

Naturally, Rodón’s next start was his no-hitter, so I have no problem saying that I saw his potential before anyone.

If you’d like to see what I think about Rodón, I’d encourage you to read this article.

However, I’d like to focus on this White Sox lineup that is starting to look like the band of the walking wounded at the moment.

White Sox Now Vulnerable Due to Injuries

Chicago recently lost center fielder Luis Robert for 3-4 months with a strained hip flexor. In spring training, they lost left fielder Eloy Jiménez for 5-6 months with a torn pectoral.

Robert was the runner-up for the 2020 AL Rookie of the Year award as he hit 11 home runs and drove in 31 RBI in the pandemic-shortened season. And all Jiménez did was hit  14 home runs and drive in 41 RBI in that season. In 2019, the left fielder actually finished with 31 home runs and 79 RBI in 468 at-bats.

It’s one thing to lose one of those players but now two?

There’s no question the loss of both players will have ripple effects in their lineup as opposing teams can now pitch around certain players.

While the White Sox are ranked second with a wRC+ value of 111 this season, over the last seven days, they’re ranked 25th with a below-average value of 71.

Despite his poor start, it might not be a walk in the park against Keller on Friday night. They’ve had mixed results as they’re 5-5 in games he’s started, and he does carry a respectable 3.62 ERA in 13 games (10 starts) against the White Sox.

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One Good, One Bad For Keller

Brad Keller is in his fourth season in the big leagues, and by now, the Royals would probably like to see him show more consistency. This season, he doesn’t look much like the pitcher who is 23-26 in his career with a 3.76 ERA.

After bursting onto the scene in his first season and finishing 9-6 with a 3.08 ERA in 2018, Keller regressed a bit the following year and went 7-14 with a 4.19 ERA. Then in 2020, he went 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA. So, perhaps we shouldn’t be too surprised that he’s off to a rough start at he’s 2-3 with an 8.06 ERA.

Royals Alternating Wins and Losses in Keller’s Starts

Just as Keller has alternated between a good season and a poor one, so have the Royals alternated wins and losses in all six of his starts this year.

What’s interesting is there haven’t been more than seven combined runs scored in either of his two starts after a loss, and he’s coming off a loss in his last outing. Keller pitched 4 1/3 innings his last time out and gave up seven runs, but only two runs were earned due to some defensive errors in the field. He also had a quality outing two starts ago as he guided the Royals to a 3-2 victory.

I think you can make the argument that Keller is actually in better form at the moment compared to earlier in the season when considering in his first two starts, he allowed 10 earned runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.

The familiarity with the White Sox lineup should aid him on Friday.

And the fact that he’ll be facing a lineup without Robert and Jiménez is something that should also work to his advantage.

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White Sox-Royals Pick

Hopefully, by now, you have an understanding as to why I think the under deserves a look in this game. Let’s quickly recap some of the factors coming into this matchup:

  • A red-hot pitcher in Rodón on the mound.
  • A depleted White Sox lineup.
  • Familiarity for both teams with this being a divisional game.
  • Improved form for Keller in his last two outings.
  • Royals off a loss in Keller’s last start.
  • Average of 3.4 runs scored by Kansas City in its last five games.

Another thing to consider is that the Royals are 11-4-1 to the under (+6.6 units) in Keller’s next start after allowing six or more runs. And in his career against the White Sox, the total is 6-2-2 (75%) to the under.

After shopping around, FanDuel has the best price on the board for the under at 8.5 with -112 odds. I’ll be sure to lock in my action at that price while it’s still available.

Pick: Under 8.5 (-112)

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