Why the Royals Have Betting Value as Home Underdogs vs. Guardians Tonight

Royals pitcher Brady Singer throws against the Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on Wednesday, June 21, 2023.
Royals pitcher Brady Singer throws against the Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on Wednesday, June 21, 2023. /

It’s no secret that Brady Singer has struggled this season, compiling a 4-7 record with a 6.34 ERA to this point. Nonetheless, I see considerable betting value on the Royals at home tonight with Singer taking on the Guardians and rookie Gavin Williams, making his second career start.

Kansas City comes into the series after an impressive four-game split with the AL-leading Rays while Cleveland lost two of three to the Brewers. Singer is coming into his own of late as well, holding his opponent to two or fewer earned runs in five of his last eight starts.

Against an inexperienced pitcher like Williams with an underwhelming statistical profile, I like Singer’s chances tonight. Let’s check out the odds before I explain why.

Royals vs. Guardians Odds, Spread, and Total

Royals vs. Guardians Prediction and Pick

Singer has not met the high expectations fans had for him coming into the year, but there’s ample reason to be encouraged about his recent performance. He’s walked just six batters over 22.1 innings this month and advanced numbers support an improvement as well.

In five of those last eight starts, Singer posted a FIP (Fielding Independent Pitching) of 3.27 or lower. That’s a mark that would rank just outside the top 10 among all qualified pitchers and represents a stark improvement from the 4.50 FIP Singer has on the year.

If Singer is rounding back into form, that makes this the perfect time to capitalize before oddsmakers adjust.

That’s especially true against a pitcher like Gavin Williams, who surrendered four runs in 5.2 innings to the lowly Athletics in his only big league start. Command is an issue for the 23-year-old lefty, as he’s walked at least three batters in four of his last five starts dating back to the minors.

Kansas City’s offense is hot too, averaging 4.44 runs per game over its last nine. The Guardians rank just 25th in OPS against right-handed pitchers, so the Royals should have an offensive advantage if Singer can avoid hanging sliders over the middle of the plate.

As a cherry on top, Cleveland is a lousy road team. The Guardians are 7-14 in their last 21 away from home while the Royals are 3-3 in their last six as underdogs, returning a $100 bettor $292.

I’m willing to back the Royals to stay hot and believe Singer is figuring things out. At the least, I see value in backing Kansas City against a pitcher like Williams who hasn’t proved he deserves to be a big road favorite for a team that struggles in these spots.

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.