For the purpose of being all inclusive Wednesday’s series finale between the Kansas City Royals and Los Angeles Angels will be shown on ESPN. The Royals have been a surprise this season holding down a .500 record even after dropping three straight, including the first of this three-game set 8-3 on Monday.
The teams split the first four games of the season series with three of those contests decided by five runs or more. Pitching has been an issue for both teams with scheduled starters Brad Keller of KC and Griffin Canning each boasting an ERA over 5.00.
This AL matchuip takes place on Wednesday, June 9, 2021 at 9:38 p.m. ET from Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA. The game will air live on ESPN.
Kansas City Royals vs Los Angeles Angels Odds
Money line: Kansas City Royals +135 | Los Angeles Angels -150
Run Line: Kansas City Royals +1.5 -155 | Los Angeles Angels -1.5 +135
Season So Far
Talk about streaky the Royals are it. If not for a horrendous 11-game losing streak at the start of May who knows where they’d be in the AL Central standings? Even worse is that all those setbacks came against division opponents. Outside of that two-week skid they’ve been pretty good and find themselves 6.5-games behind the White Sox in the division. As mentioned pitching is what’s holding the Royals back. They have a 4.41 staff ERA with three rotation guys having an ERA over 4.80.
The Royals have to scratch and claw their way to score runs and they’ve been fairly successful. They average 4.41 runs per game while hitting just 57 home runs, fewest in the AL. They put pressure on opposing teams by running the bases with reckless abandon. Led by Whit Merrifield, KC leads the AL and is second in the majors with 43 steals. They also put the bat on the ball having whiffed 470 times, the third-fewest in MLB.
While the Angels wait for Mike Trout to recover from his strained calf, Shohei Ohtani has grabbed the spotlight. Ohtani has 16 of LA’s 75 home runs, a total that places them eighth in MLB. The Angels have been a little better than KC on offense and a little worse on the bump leading to their 28-32 ledger through 60 games. They have won nine of their last 14 games to put a dent in their deficit. They are still down 428 units on the moneyline and 942 units on the run line while the OVER is 34-26.
A look at his numbers and you’d think Brad Keller (6-4, 5.50 ERA) is one of the worst starters in baseball. Well, he was at the start of the season when he gave up 16 earned runs over his first four starts. He has settled down since then lowering his ERA from 12.00 to its current number. And he’s been backed with solid run support with the Royals scoring at least six runs in seven of his 12 starts. Keller won his previous four decisions and KC is 5-0 in his last five starts and 8-4 overall when Keller takes the bump.
Control has been an issue for the young righty multiple walks in seven starts. Last time out he lasted five innings with long stretches of inactivity as his mates were putting up 14 runs against the Twins. For the first time this season he didn’t issue a walk and picked up his team-best sixth win of the season by allowing two runs in five frames.
The Halos are hopeful Griffin Canning (4-4, 5.82 ERA) can find the form that allowed him to pitch to a 3-2 record and 3.60 ERA during the month of May. He’s coming off a rough outing last time out allowing four runs over 3.1 innings in a 6-2 loss to Seattle. Surprisingly that wasn’t his shortest stint of the season. He failed to get past the third inning in three other starts and has completed a season-best six frames just twice. The bullpen better be ready when Canning takes the hill because several arms will get tested.
Canning had a decent outing against the Royals earlier this season yielding two runs on six hits over 5.0 innings back in April though he was saddled with the loss after the bullpen gave up four more runs and the offense managed only a single marker against Keller in that one.
Kansas City Royals vs Los Angeles Angels Predictions
Our best bets: Kansas City Royals +135 and UNDER 9
These teams are so unpredictable it’s hard to get a good read on them even after 60 or so games. Part of that unpredictability stems from inconsistent pitching from both starters. This will turn into a bullpen game, but Keller has been throwing well over his last few starts and was sharp against the Halos earlier this year. With KC having the edge on the mound the UNDER is a strong play. And the Royals will also have an edge on the scoreboard.
Check out today’s MLB odds.