Featured Video from Scott Reichel
When and where: August 14, 2019, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO, 8:15 PM ET
The Kansas City Royals return home after a 10-game road stretch for a tough two-game run-in with the St. Louis Cardinals. A four-game series split with the Tigers could be looked at as a positive for the Royals, who are 4-12 in their last 16 games. Meanwhile, the Cardinals ended a five-game losing streak by sweeping the Pittsburgh Pirates. St. Louis’ Dakota Hudson and Kansas City’s Brad Keller will be featured attractions on the mound in this interleague clash.
Cardinals send Budaska packing
The Cardinals saw enough of Mark Budaska for three seasons to come to the conclusion they didn’t want to see anymore. On Tuesday, it was announced the clubhouse had fired the assistant hitting coach with the explanation being a difference of opinion with hitting coach Jeff Albert. The hope is a more streamlined philosophy within the clubhouse will ultimately aid in the offense being more consistent at the plate.
The Cardinals could certainly use the improvement considering they’re operating at a .244/.316/.407 slash line right now. They don’t boast the sort of offense that strikes fear in the hearts of opposing defenses. It has been defense-or-bust for them for the majority of the season. They continue to jockey for first place with the Chicago Cubs in the NL Central division with a 61-55 record.
After putting an end to an ugly five-game losing streak on the road, they finally bounced back at home with a three-game sweep over the visiting Pirates.
Hudson will try to build on that momentum when facing the Royals on Wednesday. The 24-year-old right-handed pitcher is throwing a 4.01 ERA and 1.57 WHIP with a 10-6 record. He has been awarded four victories in his last seven outings, which also includes back-to-back losses to the Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros.
Royals avoid colossal letdown against the Tigers
Well, at least the Royals aren’t as bad as the Tigers and Baltimore Orioles.
That’s the only statement left for Royals fans to hang their hats on in what has been another disappointing season. Imagine the frustration if they dropped a four-game series over the weekend to the worst team in baseball. Yeah, the putrid stink from a loss like that would have settled in and lingered with the clubhouse for the rest of the season.
Four years after winning the World Series and the Royals now sit in fourth place in the AL Central division—far closer to being in fifth than third. It took everything they had to fend off the last place Tigers in a weekend series that ended in a 2-2 split, while continuing to highlight how far the team has fallen over the years.
Keller hopes to offer a pick-me-up when he starts at pitcher on Wednesday against the Cardinals. The 24-year-old Georgia-born starter is coming off three straight losses to the Tigers, Minnesota Twins and Toronto Blue Jays. He has given up at least one homer in each of the three losses, leaving him desperately searching for a turnaround performance. His ERA currently stands at 4.09 in 152.0 innings thrown with a 7-12 record.
- Royals are 4-10 in Keller’s last 14 starts against a team with a winning record.
- Royals are 2-5 in Keller’s last 7 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Royals are 5-13 in Keller’s last 18 starts on grass.
- Royals are 2-7 in Keller’s last 9 starts following a team loss in the previous game.
- Cardinals are 5-1 in Hudson’s last 6 starts with 4 days of rest.
- Cardinals are 12-3 in Hudson’s last 15 starts.
- Cardinals are 12-3 in Hudson’s last 15 starts on grass.
- Cardinals are 7-2 in Hudson’s last 9 road starts.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
If the Cardinals can’t beat the Royals, they can probably forget about taking the divisional throne from the Cubs. They’re actually in a stretch right now where they have a real opportunity to pull ahead. We have reached the point in the season where every game is a must-win, especially for teams vying for playoff contention.
One area the Cardinals can challenge the Royals at is on the defensive side, which is where the Tigers suffered a complete meltdown in the last two games of the series. The Cardinals boast one of the better defenses in the league, holding opponents to an average of 4.33 runs per game.
For the Royals, the fear resides in too much pressure being heaped on Keller, who has looked very hittable. The Tigers recently lit him up for 10 hits and five runs.
If the league’s worst offense could do that to Keller and the Royals, imagine what the Cardinals should be able to do on Wednesday. Give me the Cardinals in a game where they take advantage of Keller and hold their ground on defense.
Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals (-132)
Full-Game Total Pick
Keller has given up four home runs in his last three outings on the mound, which doesn’t bode well for the Royals’ ability to shut down a Cardinals’ offense that has struggled at the plate. However, the defense imposed on the Royals by the Cardinals will impede the over from being the winning bet here, particularly with Hudson on the mound. The Tennessee native has allowed more than three earned runs only twice this season, and those games came against the Astros and Milwaukee Brewers. I like the under betting total in what should be another ugly offensive night for the Royals.
Prediction: Under (10)