Seattle Mariners @ Kansas City Royals
Sunday August 6, 12:15 AM (BST)
The Fierce American League Wild Card battle rages on, as current fifth seed Kansas City Royals host seventh placed Seattle Mariners in the third of their four game series. So far the teams have grabbed a win each, with KC taking the first game 6-4 and Seattle evening the score last night with a 2-5 win.
After an excellent run of nine consecutive wins and going 10-1, Kansas City had a horrible end to their road trip in Baltimore, where the Orioles swept the Royals with ease. Coming back home, where they are 31-24, to make their case for the Wild Card spot started well with a win and KC is looking to add to that against their closest rivals. Furthermore they've been in excellent form at home lately, going 4-1 in past five, 7-3 in ten, 9-6 in 15 and 13-7 in 20. It's safe to say their home form has been solid.
Seattle have had their problems on the road this year and are 24-28 when playing away from home. However, the past 15 road games show that the Mariners are starting to find their feet: their 11-4 record is the best in AL at the moment. Overall they are one win above the .500 mark and three wins behind securing the last coveted American League Wild Card spot. The stakes are even higher in the series against Kansas City, as they currently the hold that final spot in the MLB post-season.
The Royals start with Danny Duffy, who is 7-6 with an ERA of 3.42 and 11 quality starts out of 17. Duffy has performed admirably all season and only improved since coming back from injury, which caused him to miss all of June. He started against Seattle on July 4th, allowing five hits and two runs with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings pitched. The Royals won 7-3.
Seattle will go with veteran starter Felix Hernandez, who is having the worst season so far in his 13-year MLB-career. He is 5-4 in 13 starts, with an ERA of 4.28. He was on the mound against Duffy in the above mentioned game in Seattle, allowing 6 hits and 6 runs in 6.0 innings.
Current market in Betfair betting exchange slightly favours the home team, with odds of [1.93] for backing the home win. According to Accuscore's simulations, the odds should be at [1.69].
In Accuscore simulations, Kansas City Royals are the winners with 59.20% probability.
Value bets should be placed for the Royals when the odds reach 1.70 and for visiting Seattle Mariners with odds of 2.46 or better.
According to simulations, the game is rather low in scoring and it's unlikely to be a blowout. Kansas City scores on average 4.5 runs with 9.5 hits, including 1.17 home runs. Seattle is limited to 3.9 runs with 8 hits and 0.83 homers.
The most likely players to score a run in the game are KC's Whit Merrifield, with a 68% probability, while Seattle's Jean Segura leads his team with 61%. Royals' Mike Moustakas and Salvador Perez have ~22% chance of a home run with Seattle's Nelson Cruz marginally more likely with 23%.
Overall, Kansas City's offense has more quality, with six players with more than a 50% chance of scoring against Seattle's three.
Starting pitchers can make the difference tonight, with KC's Danny Duffy more likely to have a quality start. According to simulations, he is likely to pitch for 6.2 innings, allowing 6.5 hits and 2.7 runs. Seattle's Felix Hernandez will last for 5.9 innings, allowing 7 hits and 3.5 runs. The relievers' numbers are similar with both teams.
The simulations show clear edge for the home team. Excellent starting pitcher Danny Duffy provides solid grounds for the offense to do their deed, in which they are more efficient than their counterparts. It is likely to be an evenly matched game, but the home team is a better bet at the odds.