Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros MLB betting preview
Time: 8:10 PM
Venue: Minute Maid Park
Sportsbook odds for fans who bet on baseball:
Royals +1½ (-135) 8½ (-105) +161
Astros -1½ (+115) 8½ (-115) -171
On the mound: Jason Vargas (L) will make his first start since September 2016 – he had undergone Tommy John surgery in 2015. Vargas threw a team-high 23 1/3 innings with a 3.86 ERA this spring. Vargas is 0-2 with an 8.41 ERA in four career starts against Houston.
At bat: Center fielder Lorenzo Cain has one home run and five RBI and is 3 for 8 (.375) in eight plate appearances against Houston’s starter. Eric Hosmer batted .448 with three home runs and six RBIs against the Astros in 2016.
Elsewhere: The Royals’ bullpen has been tip-top in recent seasons but surrendered 14 runs in eight innings against the Twins.
Recent form: The Royals were swept 0-3 for the by the Minnesota Twins in their season-opening three-game series. This is the first time Kansas City starts 0-3 since 2001 against the New York Yankees. The Royals have lost their last five games and seven of the last nine on the road, but has won four of their last six against the Astros and four if their last five visits to Houston.
Trends for fans who bet on baseball: Kansas City has covered the spread in four of their last six games versus the Astros but in only one of their last seven games overall. The MLB betting total has gone under in four of the Royals’ last six games against the Astros.
On the mound: Mike Fiers (R) had a career-best 11 wins and eight losses in 31 outings – 30 starts – with the Houston Astros Odds last season. Additionally, he recorded the lowest single-season walks per nine innings (42 batters in 168 2/3 innings) of his career. Fiers is 0-2 against Kansas City with a 6.46 ERA. Opposing batters hit .653 in at-bats with Fiers’s four-seam fastball in 2016.
At bat: Jose Altuve has one homer and three RBIs in nine plate appearances and Josh Reddick has one home run and two RBIs in 29 at-bats against Vargas.
Elsewhere: AL hitting champion Altuve went 0 for 6 for the second time in his career against Seattle on Wednesday. The Venezuelan hit three home runs and seven RBIs in seven games versus Kansas City last season. Meanwhile, George Springer became the first Houston player in history to hit a leadoff homer the game after hitting a walk-off homer.
Recent form: The Astros won their four-game season-opening set against American League West divisional foe the Mariners 3-1. Houston has won four of their last six games overall and four of the last six at home.
Trends for fans who bet on baseball: Houston has covered in five of their last 16 games overall and in five of their last 15 at home. Similarly, the Astros have gone 2-4 ATS in the last six meetings with the Royals. The MLB betting total has gone under in four of Houston’s last six games hosting Kansas City.