Congratulations to Jordan Lyles for picking up his first win of the regular season in his last start, beating the AL-leading Rays in one of the year’s more improbable victories.
Lyles aims for a second straight win tonight against the Guardians and Tanner Bibee, but I’m not optimistic that last week was a sign of things to come. I think Royals fans have a strong opportunity to profit tonight by fading Kansas City against its division rival.
Let’s look at the odds before I explain why I’m backing Cleveland tonight.
Royals vs. Guardians Odds, Spread, and Total
Royals vs. Guardians Prediction and Pick
Even in a win last week, Lyles was hardly the catalyst. He surrendered eight hits and four runs over six innings, but Kansas City’s bats exploded to put up nine in support. I don’t expect that same offensive production today, as Bibee has shown impressive results in his rookie season while the Royals are struggling offensively.
Through 12 starts this season, Bibee held his opponent to three or fewer runs 10 times and allowed just one earned run over his last 11.2 innings. The Royals faced Yonny Chirinos in the Lyles win and he’s surrendered 17 total runs in his last four appearances.
Thus, these are not opponents of the same quality. Lyles, for his part, has held his opponent to three or fewer runs just four times in his last 16 outings. The Royals lost 15 consecutive starts by Lyles before last week with 13 of those losses coming by multiple runs.
The betting market is overreacting to last week’s win, giving us value tonight. Cleveland has three straight wins on the run line behind Bibee and is 8-2 over its last 10 as a home favorite, yet the Guardians are nearly even-money at -1.5 this evening.
Kansas City, meanwhile, is 3-14 in its last 17 as a road underdog with 12 of those losses coming by multiple runs. Don’t overthink this – back the Guardians on the run line at tasty odds and let’s find a way to enjoy Lyles and the Royals’ collective struggles.
Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.