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MLB Odds & Picks for Royals vs. Yankees: Why to Back Aaron Judge & Bronx Bombers in This Spot

MLB Odds & Picks for Royals vs. Yankees: Why to Back Aaron Judge & Bronx Bombers in This Spot article feature image
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Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Judge (Yankees)

  • After winning the first two games of the series, the Yankees will once again host the Royals on Saturday in the Bronx.
  • Aaron Judge has been on fire in this series and will look to continue his historic success vs. Kansas City's Jonathan Heasley.
  • Alex Hinton dives deep into this matchup and offers up his best bet.

Royals vs. Yankees Odds

Royals Odds +235
Yankees Odds -280
Over/Under 8.5
Time 2:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

On Saturday afternoon, the Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees will continue their four-game series, which has turned into the “Benintendi Bowl” following the trade of outfielder Andrew Benintendi to New York on Wednesday.

Benintendi is 1-for-7 against his former club in the first two games in the series.

The Yankees won Thursday’s game, 1-0, on a walk-off home run by Aaron Judge.

The Yankees outfielder was not done, as he followed that up with two home runs on Friday, including a grand slam as part of an eight-run eighth inning. New York came back to win 11-5, and Judge now has 41 home runs on the year (the first to reach 40 in MLB this season).

Will Judge and the Yankees offense lead the team to another win on Saturday afternoon?

Royals Need More From Their Own Offense

Zack Greinke was scheduled to start today, but he was scratched for Jonathan Heasley, who was just activated off the IL. The 25-year old is 1-5 with a 5.50 ERA in 11 starts this season.

Heasley’s advanced metrics have shown improvement in his second season, though they still do not paint a pretty picture. Heasley ranks in the bottom 10th percentile in Average Exit Velocity, Hard Hit Percentage, xERA and Chase Rate.

He ranks in the 14th percentile in Strikeout Percentage and in the 16th percentile in both xBA and Whiff Rate.

Heasley could run into some problems facing a Yankees lineup that ranks second in MLB in Average Exit Velocity and third in Hard Hit Rate. At Yankee Stadium, it does not take much for a low hard hit line drive to make it out of the yard, particularly with the short porch in right field.

Heasley has lasted six innings in just four of his 11 starts this season.

Run support behind Heasley may be at a premium. In Kansas City’s last four games, it has scored in exactly one inning. Sure, the Royals scored five on five straight hits in the fifth inning off Yankees ace Gerrit Cole, however, the Royals were shut out in the previous three games.

With Benintendi now in the other dugout, that is another bat Kansas City will be without for the rest of the year.

Kansas City did get its star catcher Salvador Perez back in the lineup, though. Perez hit his 12th home run of the season last night. However, the Royals need him to regain his form from last season, when he led the American League in home runs.


Judge to Continue Monster Series for Yanks?

The Yankees got off to one of the best starts in MLB history this season. On June 22, they were 51-18.

Since then, they have come back down to earth, going 17-15. That coincides with a series against the Houston Astros, who the Yankees are 2-5 against this season.

New York is still the highest-scoring team in the major leagues over the last month, though that is partially due to outbursts like last night.

The Yankees have scored two runs or fewer 11 times in the last month. Since facing the Astros, many teams have been attacking their lineup with a heavy diet of high fastballs at high velocity.

Against Heasley, that should not be an issue for the Yankees. Heasley is slightly above average — in the 56th percentile — in fastball velocity, which he uses 45% of the time.

Heasley has allowed nine home runs in 52.1 innings and eight of those have come against lefties. That could mean another home run for Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who went yard in last night’s game along with Judge.

Of course, Judge is a candidate to go deep in any game he starts, and he will to continue to chase history. Judge is the eighth player in MLB history to reach 41 home runs before the end of July. He has two days to catch Barry Bonds and Mark McGwire, who both had 45.

Nestor Cortes Jr. will start for the Yankees, and he was a big part of the team’s historic start to the season. In June, he was 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA. However, he has bounced back in July — going 2-0 with a 2.38 ERA — and has looked more like the pitcher that earned him the nickname “Nasty Nestor.”

He struck out seven in six scoreless innings against Baltimore in his last start.

Royals-Yankees Pick

The Yankees are 38-12 at home this season while outscoring opponents by over two runs per game.

They should cruise to another victory at home in this spot.

Cortes has regained his form from earlier in the year, and I like him to shut down this Royals lineup. He allowed one run in five innings against the Royals in Kansas City earlier this season.

The Yankees should beat up on Heasley, and it could result in another power display from the Bronx Bombers.

I will be backing the Yankees on the runline. Play it up to -155

Pick: Yankees -1.5 (-145)

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