Royals vs. White Sox Betting Pick: Is History on Kansas City’s Side?

Royals vs. White Sox Betting Pick: Is History on Kansas City’s Side? article feature image

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Yolmer Sanchez and Nicky Lopez

  • The White Sox are -160 favorites in tonight's matchup against the Royals (8:10 p.m. ET, after the suspended game ends).
  • Based on some historical trends from Bet Labs, there might just be enough reason for bettors to put down some money on the underdogs.

Tuesday brings with it a loaded MLB slate, so why not focus on two teams with a combined 41-63 record in one of the most boring divisions in baseball?

Believe it or not, tonight’s Royals-White Sox game (8:10 p.m. ET) is actually on the higher end of the betting count spectrum, drawing the fourth-highest number of tickets on the schedule (so far).

With matchups like Cubs-Astros and Red Sox-Indians both ranking behind it at the moment, though, I’m not convinced this will hold up as a top-five most heavily bet game when first pitches are thrown.

Still, the heavy early action gives us the opportunity to more accurately judge how bettors are going to approach this game, and even leads to a slight historical edge.

>> All odds as of 1:30 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets.

Boasting the second-worst record in the American League, the Royals are drawing just 24% of bets thus far, but those have accounted for 33% of actual money being wagered on the matchup. That higher money percentage means Kansas City is attracting the bigger bettors — the ones more likely to be sharps.

What’s especially attractive is that even with a fairly significant discrepancy, the amount of money being thrown at the Royals is still well under the 50% mark, meaning sportsbooks and big bettors should be united in their need for a Kansas City win tonight.

And given the choice between a sportsbook/sharp bettor combination and the betting public, I’d advise going with the former.

With the help of Bet Labs, we can see exactly how teams in this spot have performed over the last 3+ years (when we began tracking money percentages).

Teams that have drawn no more than 30% of bets, 40% of money and have had a money-bet discrepancy of at least three percentage points have gone 514-668 (43.5%). While that’s not an exceptionally high win percentage, it’s enough to have won 77.6 units since 2016 (because most of the teams in this spot are underdogs), good for a 6.6% return on investment.

What’s more? Despite the Royals’ horrid record, they’re actually coming off a win against the Yankees on Sunday.

Yesterday’s rain-suspended game will be restarted before this one gets underway, but the psychological aspect coming from Sunday’s win should basically remain the same in the betting market, meaning recreational bettors will use that victory as a reason to think a loss is more likely tonight.

I mean, how can a team with a .346 win percentage pull off two — or perhaps three — wins in three straight games? Oddsmakers and sharpies know better, though.

Since 2005, it’s been quite profitable to take bad teams coming off a win. In fact, teams still holding a sub-.400 record through 45 games are 946-1069 (47.4%) when they’ve won their previous game — another losing record that has actually won 157.6 units over the past 14+ years (a 7.8% ROI).

Given the restarted game taking place beforehand, it’s possible that the Royals fall out of this system if they drop that one. But it’s important to remember that it’s not so much the actual result of the previous game that matters, but rather how it affects the opinions in the betting market.

And until that game goes final, the public is operating as if Kansas City is riding a one-game win streak.

So, for those curious, teams like the Royals that fit both of the above betting systems (profitable percentages paired with a previous victory) actually have a winning record (51-45) even though only four of them have been listed as favorites.

They’ve won 31.3 units over the past 3+ years, good for a 32.6% ROI.

The pick: Royals +148