Royals vs Diamondbacks Odds, Picks, Predictions | MLB Betting Preview Wednesday, April 26

Royals vs Diamondbacks Odds, Picks, Predictions | MLB Betting Preview Wednesday, April 26 article feature image

Via Chris Coduto/Getty Images. Pictured: Starting pitcher Zac Gallen #23 of the Arizona Diamondbacks pitches against the San Diego Padres during the first inning of the game at Chase Field on April 21, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona.

  • The Diamondbacks host the Royals on Sunday as home favorites with ace Zac Gallen on the mound.
  • The Royals offense has been horrific to start the season, but are they undervalued against Gallen in this spot?
  • Find out what MLB betting expert Mike Iannniello expects from this matchup, along with a betting pick and prediction, below.

Royals vs. Diamondbacks Odds

Wednesday, April 26
3:40 p.m. ET
Royals Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105/ -115
Diamondbacks Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-105 / -115
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Well, I bet nobody expected the Arizona Diamondbacks to be leading the NL West a month into the season. Granted, they have the lowest winning percentage of any division leader, but the Snakes have started this season 13-12 and seem to be really benefiting from the new rule changes.

On the other hand, many people did expect that the Kansas City Royals would have the second-worst record in baseball. The Royals are just 6-18 on the season and have two wins in their last 11 games.

As we break down Kansas City vs. Arizona on Wednesday, is there anywhere to find value on the Royals?

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Kansas City Royals

After five seasons in Tampa Bay, Ryan Yarbrough signed with the Royals to be used mainly out of the bullpen. After seven appearances in relief, he will make his first start with Kansas City on Wednesday. This season has not gone as planned for the soft-tossing lefty as he has a 7.62 ERA and 6.75 xERA over his seven appearances.

With his fastest pitch being a sinker that averages just 87 miles per hour, Yarbrough has virtually zero strikeout upside. He has just five strikeouts in 13 innings, and his Strikeout Rate is in the bottom 1% of the entire league.

While the slow velocity helps him to not get hit all that hard, he yields a lot of base runners with the ball constantly in play. Opponents have a .319 xBA and .392 xwOBA against Yarbrough this season.

Don’t expect much run support behind Yarbrough either. Kansas City’s offense ranks dead last in wRC+ and wOBA. Vinnie Pasquantino is the only player in this lineup with a wRC+ above 100 (league average).

Arizona Diamondbacks

The Diamondbacks will give the ball to their ace, Zac Gallen, against Kansas City. Through five starts, Gallen’s 2.59 ERA is the 14th-best in baseball. His 2.33 xERA is even better, and he has not allowed a run in three straight starts.

He got off to a bit of a slow start, but in 20 2/3 innings over the last three outings, Gallen has allowed just seven hits and zero runs while striking out 29 batters. When Gallen gets hot, he stays hot. Last season he racked up a stretch of 44 1/3 scoreless innings, the longest streak of any pitcher since 2015.

Arizona’s ace expertly mixes his four-pitch mix of fastball, curveball, changeup and cutter. All of those pitches generate strikeouts and have a negative run value. Gallen sits in the top-nine percent of the league in Strikeout Rate and should continue to dominate throughout the season.

Few teams were better equipped to take advantage of the new MLB rule changes quite like Arizona, given their overall team speed. They rank seventh in stolen bases and are the league's best in Defensive Runs Above Average.

Royals vs. Diamondbacks Betting Pick

What do you get when you cross a pitcher who hasn’t given up a run since April 4 with a team that ranks last in wRC+ and is averaging just 3.4 runs per game? A team total under.

With the zone Gallen is in right now, he looks like the best pitcher in the league. Over his last three starts, he has pitched into the seventh inning in each game and has not allowed a run. Opponents are hitting just .089 against him.

He is striking out over 39% of all hitters, the third-best mark in the league over that stretch. Expect him to feast against a Kansas City team that strikes out at the fourth-highest rate in the league.

When Gallen gets hot like this, he tends to feed off the confidence and keep it going. We saw this the end of last season when Gallen went six straight starts without allowing a run. Coincidently enough, during the beginning of the streak, after Gallen had tallied three scoreless outings in a row, he faced the Royals in the fourth game and shut them out to continue his streak.

Through the first 24 games, the Royals have been held under four runs in 15 of them. Kansas City has just one player with a wRC+ above league average, and in 30 at-bats against Gallen, the collective Royals roster is batting .167 with 11 strikeouts.

Bank on Gallen to stay hot and shut down this weak Kansas City lineup on Wednesday.

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