Kansas City Royals at Toronto Blue Jays
First pitch: 10:07 a.m. PT
Probable pitchers: Glenn Sparkman (2-3, 4.07 ERA) vs. Clayton Richard (0-4, 6.89 ERA)
Home-and-road splits can indeed be a major factor when handicapping a baseball game and it’s something that figures to come into play for at least one of the two starters going this afternoon.
For Sparkman, pitching away from Kansas City has proven to be a real tough task. Since first arriving in the big leagues in 2017, the 27-year-old has put together an ERA on the road (6.88) that is nearly twice as high as it is at home (3.64).
Sparkman has been utilized both as a starter and a reliever but when just looking at his four career starts outside of Kauffman Stadium, they haven’t been pretty. In those outings, Sparkman compiled a not-pretty 9.19 ERA and 1.85 WHIP while being victimized for seven homers — or 4.02 HR/9. He’s logged more than five innings on the road only once as well, something that can ensure enough exposure to a Royals bullpen that sports the fifth-worst ERA (4.74) in the American League.
While the Blue Jays may not come off as very intimidating with their 31-53 record, they can still be dangerous with the long ball, which is not ideal for Sparkman. In fact, Toronto’s 64 home runs at home rank them tied for ninth in baseball. Overall, their offense has picked it up as of late, too, having scored more than three runs in all but one of their last 11 ballgames. During this span, they’ve averaged 6.27 runs per contest.
Kansas City normally doesn’t fare too well against left-handed pitching, which is what they’ll be dealing with today, but a tendency like that isn’t as impactful when dealing with a soft-tossing southpaw who doesn’t pick up a lot of strikeouts.
In fact, Richard ranks dead-last among all starting pitchers with just 4.31 K/9. He even has more walks (16) than strikeouts (15) on the year.
Wait like I am up until first pitch to see if the total goes down to 10, though if it ultimately does not, this over is still my bet to kick off the final week before the All-Star break. Follow me on Twitter for when I make my bet official. Play: OVER 10.5
Yesterday’s Result: Diamondbacks-Giants Under 7 (loss)
Zylbert’s 2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 48-39-7, +4.4 units
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
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