The Kansas City Royals have played much better of late winning seven of the last nine but opened this current series against Milwaukee with a 9-5 loss and are now 21-30 overall and in last place in the American League Central 12 games behind the division-leading Chicago White Sox.
Although Milwaukee has played poorly and is just 24-26, the Brewers trail second place by just one game and still have high hopes of qualifying for the postseason. Milwaukee has won two straight and three of the last four heading into the final full week of the Major League Baseball regular season.
Mediocrity hurting Kansas CityThe Kansas City Royals have won seven of the last nine but are still nine games below .500 and mediocrity has hurt the Royals as they are average both at the plate and on the mound. Whit Merrifield has the best batting average for the Royals at .282 and is the leader in home runs with 9. Offseason acquisition Maikel Franco has taken over the lead in RBIs with 31 but is batting just .269. As a team, Kansas City has the 15th best team batting average of .245 but has scored just 212 runs which is 25th best in the majors. Bottom line is runners get on base but don't get knocked in to score.
On the mound, Brad Keller has a team-high four wins, while Danny Duffy is leading in strikeouts with 52 and Keller leads in ERA for the starting rotation at 2.06. The Royals have a team ERA of 4.44 which is 14th in baseball while opposing hitters are averaging .257 at the plate which is 22nd in the majors. The starting rotation has not lived up to expectation with just nine Quality Starts which is 23rd. The Royals will hand the ball to Keller on Sunday and the right-hander is 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA and 26 strikeouts. Kansas City has won two of Keller’s last four outings.
Pitching keeps Milwaukee in the playoff huntStarting pitcher Corbin Burnes is leading Milwaukee in wins with three, in strikeouts was 74 and in ERA at just 1.98. As a team Milwaukee has the 12th best ERA at 4.26 and is also 12th best in WHIP at 1.27. Opposing hitters are averaging .234 at the plate against Milwaukee pitching which is 8th best in baseball. The Brewers will give the ball to Brett Anderson on Sunday to face Kansas City. This season the left-hander is 3-3 with a 4.58 ERA and 24 strikeouts. The Brewers have won four of Anderson's last 5 starts.
At the plate, Milwaukee is led by right fielder Avisail Garcia who has a team-high .264 batting average. The leader in home runs and RBIs is Keston Hiura with 13 and 32 respectively, The Brewers have one of the worst team batting averages at .229 which is 23rd in baseball and the slugging percentage is equally poor at .400 which is 22nd. Therefore, it's not surprising that Milwaukee has scored the 22nd most runs with 219. Outfielder Christian Yelich has struggled at the plate all season and is batting just .214 but has increased his home run count to 11 and is second in RBIs.
- Milwaukee has won four of the last six
- The Brewers have won four of the last six at home
- Kansas City has lost four of the last five against Milwaukee
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Brewers will send Brett Anderson to the mound to face Kansas City on Sunday and have won four of the left-handers last five starts. Milwaukee has also won 4 of its last six at home as well as four of the last six overall. At the same time, Kansas City has lost four of its last five head-to-head with Milwaukee. Former National League MVP Christian Yelich has not had a good season at the plate but has produced of late and has 11 home runs including one on Friday in the opening game of the series.
Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers -145
Full-Game Total Pick
The total has finished over in four of the last five games that Kansas City has played on the road versus Milwaukee and the total has finished over in 4 of the Royals last 5 interleague games. Both Kansas City and Milwaukee have average to below average bullpens and although both starting pitchers on Sunday have solid ERAs, it's the bullpens that have let the teams down and that trend will continue on Sunday.
Prediction: OVER 8.5