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ALCS Betting Odds – Game 1: Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles

Written by:
Carrie Stroup
Published on:
Oct/10/2014
ALCS Betting Odds – Game 1: Kansas City Royals vs. Baltimore Orioles

Carrie Stroup here with your ALCS betting odds for Game 1 of the matchup between the Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles.  Place your 1st bet here, get your 2nd bet FREE at Sportsbook.ag.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS (93-73) at BALTIMORE ORIOLES (99-66)

Sportsbook.ag Line & Total: Baltimore -125, Kansas City +115, Total: 7

Opening Line & Total: Baltimore -129, Kansas City +119, Total: 7

Game 1 of the ALCS begins Friday night with the unlikely matchup between the Royals and Orioles.            

The last time Kansas City made it this deep into the season was 1985 when they won the World Series behind the bat of George Brett, and hopes that its four-game playoff winning streak can be extended. The Royals were able to make an improbable comeback in the Wild Card game with an extra-inning victory and brought their momentum into the ALDS; sweeping the top-seeded Angels while playing two more extra-inning contests. Their clinching game was decisive, though, as they won 8-3 on Sunday behind home runs from both 1B Eric Hosmer and 3B Mike Moustakas. Hosmer has been the team’s most clutch hitter in the postseason, going 7-for-14 with a double, triple, two homers, 5 RBI and five runs.

The Orioles have also not been this deep into the playoffs in a while, dating back to 1997, but rolled through the Tigers in the ALDS while scoring 21 runs during the three-game sweep. Starter Bud Norris (6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 6 K's) outdueled David Price in Game 3, as Baltimore won 2-1 while OF Nelson Cruz provided the two runs with a long ball. Cruz had two hits in each game of the ALDS, going 6-for-12 with two homers, 5 RBI and four runs. RHP James Shields (1-0, 4.91 ERA) will make his third start of these playoffs in this contest, as he goes against RHP Chris Tillman (1-0, 3.60 ERA) for the host Orioles. The Royals have not had any issues when playing on the road, tying the Dodgers for the best away record in baseball at 49-34 (.590), but Baltimore is a stellar 52-31 (.627, T-2nd in MLB) when playing at Camden Yards.

These two clubs have been nearly even when meeting over the past three seasons with the Royals holding a slight 12-11 edge overall including 7-6 on the road. Bettors should know that Kansas City is 24-8 (.750) after having won six or seven of their previous eight games this season, while the Orioles are 25-6 (.806) when the total is 7 to 8.5 and their ace Tillman is on the mound. As far as injuries are concerned, the Royals have no one missing of note while Baltimore continues to be without the services of 1B Chris Davis (suspension) and 3B Manny Machado (knee).

James Shields is one of the more consistent starters in the majors, with double-digit victories in each of the past eight seasons while posting an ERA below 3.55 in each of the past four years. He controls the plate with extreme effectiveness (1.7 BB/9 in 2014) while striking out his fair share of batters (7.1 K/9 in 2014) and forces hitters to hit the ball on the ground 45.2% of the time. In his two postseason starts so far, he has thrown 11 innings while allowing six runs on 11 hits (3 HR). In his career against the Orioles, Shields is 11-7 (15-11 team record) with a 3.52 ERA and 1.21 WHIP, and was victorious in both his outings this season. OFs Adam Jones (.304 BA, 5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 6 RBI in 46 AB) and Nick Markakis (.296 BA, 5 doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBI in 71 AB) have done well when facing the Royals’ ace, while OFs Alejandro De Aza and Nelson Cruz have combined to go a meager 9-for-51 (.176) with nine strikeouts in the matchup. Kansas City’s bullpen has been tremendous all season with a 31-18 record (.633), 3.26 ERA and 1.24 WHIP while saving 55-of-66 (83%) games.

The road numbers are even more amazing, especially the 2.37 ERA and 1.11 WHIP. Closer Greg Holland (0.00 ERA, 2 saves in postseason) struck out 13 batters per nine innings over the regular season and has already mowed down seven while not allowing a hit in his four appearances (4 IP).

Chris Tillman had his second consecutive season with at least 200 innings while recording 14 wins, and has led his team to a 25-10 record (.714) in his starts. The O's ace decreased his home run rate to 0.91 HR/9 after posting a rather high number last year (1.44 HR/9). He has done this without the most prolific strikeout rate (6.5 K/9 in 2014) while getting lucky with batters hitting a mere .267 BABIP against him. Tillman did well in his win over the Tigers in what was his first career postseason start (5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 6 K's).

Against the Royals in his career, Tillman is 2-2 (3-2 team record) with a 6.20 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, but he tossed a five-hit shutout in his only start versus K.C. this season on May 16. OF Alex Gordon has gone just 3-for-13 in the matchup but has two homers with three RBIs in those at-bats while SS Alcides Escobar (4-for-11, 1 double) and 3B Mike Moustakas (3-for-8, 1 HR, 2 RBI) have also done well. On the other hand, DH Billy Butler (2-for-14, 1 HR, 2 RBI), OF Lorenzo Cain (1-for-5, 2 K's) and 1B Eric Homser (1-for-8) have all done poorly in the matchup. The relievers for the Orioles have had a stellar season, going 29-21 (.580) with a 3.07 ERA and 1.16 WHIP while saving 55-of-74 (74%) chances. These numbers improve to 18-6 with a 2.92 ERA and 1.12 WHIP at home, and so far in the postseason, the bullpen has a 2.25 ERA and 1.08 WHIP over 12 innings.

Closer Zach Britton (3.86 ERA, 2 saves) is 2-for-2 in saves so far in the postseason after forcing hitters to hit the ball on the ground an amazing 82.3% of the time in the regular season.

- Carrie Stroup, Gambling911.com Senior Reporter

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