Royals vs Blue Jays Picks and Predictions: Short-Handed Kansas City Dispatched by Manoah

Toronto got embarrassed yesterday at the Rogers Centre, as a ghost-ship Royals squad took a 3-1 victory. With Alek Manoah on the mound tonight, our MLB betting picks expect the Blue Jays to right their wrong.

Chris Hatfield - Betting Analyst at
Chris Hatfield • Betting Analyst
Jul 15, 2022 • 14:23 ET • 4 min read
Alek Manoah Toronto Blue Jays MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals will play the second game of their final series before the All-Star break tonight.

By now, you've heard the story of the Royals, who have an incredibly thin roster in Toronto this week due to vaccination restrictions. 

Despite that, a seemingly Triple-A-level roster of hitters defeated the Jays last night in what many consider to be the low point of Toronto's season. The Jays have won just three of their last 10 and are clinging onto the final Wild Card spot as we approach the break.

Who will take the second game of this series? Find out with our Royals vs. Blue Jays MLB picks and predictions for Friday, July 15.

Royals vs Blue Jays odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

Toronto opened up as another monster -325 moneyline favorite today. Since then, it’s been bet down to around -250, with the Royals returning at +290. It's nearly identical to where the price finished yesterday in game one.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Royals vs Blue Jays predictions

Picks made on 7/15/2022 at 2:00 p.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Royals vs Blue Jays game info

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Date: Friday, July 15, 2022
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City, Sportsnet

Royals vs Blue Jays betting preview

Starting pitchers

Zack Greinke (3-5, 4.52 ERA): What has hampered Greinke the most this season is the hard-hit. Generally, when he's faced teams with the bigger bats, he's struggled. He has a hard-hit rate ranking in the bottom 30% of baseball and an xERA among the league's worst. A pitcher with an ERA over 4.50 who's expected to have more negative regression is never good. 

Alek Manoah (9-4, 2.34 ERA): Manoah is quite literally the best in baseball at inducing soft contact, with just 27% of his balls hit hard. In addition, Manoah has been a model of consistency. In June, he pitched 38 innings and allowed only 11 earned runs. 


Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Royals are 2-5 in their last seven games vs. the Blue Jays. Find more MLB betting trends for Royals vs. Blue Jays

Royals vs Blue Jays picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

On the surface, this is a nightmare game to handicap. Toronto is amid an awful stretch of play, and Kansas City is fielding a team with little MLB experience. Compounding that factor is a Cy Young contender on the mound coming off a few out-of-character games. 

I'll back the Blue Jays here, though. At some point, they have to start playing better baseball. 

I'm playing up a few angles here more than anything, from a number’s perspective. We have little info on the lineup that the Royals bring into today's game, and consequently, it's a bit of a fool's errand to try to handicap that perspective. 

We know that the Blue Jays were embarrassed last night and were a victim of the largest upset of the season. It may be difficult to play with an edge when you see a Royals team that is already near the bottom of the barrel in baseball, missing most of its roster. On the other hand, you don't have a problem having the edge when that team has beat you the night before. 

From a pure pitching perspective, there's a massive edge here. Alek Manoah has had a few out-of-character games in his last two starts. He gave up two earned runs against the Mariners, but before that, he put in a six-inning performance against the Athletics, where he gave up four earned runs. 

Manoah is squarely in the Cy Young odds discussion but needs a solid performance before the break to keep those chances high. 

Throw away the numbers for a moment. It seems impossible to expect a lineup missing 40% of his batters to have much success against Manoah. So, I'll back Manoah to record the win. 

From a situational perspective, he is about as well-suited as you can be to have a good performance today. If you get that, you'd have to like Toronto's chances to get a win. 

Prediction: Alek Manoah to record a win (-130 at DraftKings)

Over/Under analysis

Once again, here, we'll ignore any aspect that factors in the Royals’ hitters. There are too many unknowns to give a confident handicap, so, let's look at the Blue Jays’ team total instead. 

Zack Greinke has been a favorite fade of mine this season. Whenever he's seen the big bats this season, he's struggled. 

Against the Astros, he gave up six earned runs in five innings, and against the Twins, he gave up six earned runs in four innings. A common theme emerges in these performances and others: Grienke struggles against teams that hit the ball hard. 

The Jays happen to be first in MLB in that stat. They've still been doing this, even when things have looked as bad as they have over the last few games. Last night, Toronto had five hits that registered an exit velocity of over 105, and four resulted in outs. That's just unlucky more than anything else. 

I'm backing the Blue Jays’ team total Over tonight. It's one of the better bets on the board, given the situation. They are facing a pitcher who struggles to give up hard hits, and the Blue Jays hit the ball harder than any team in baseball. 

Prediction: Blue Jays team total Over 5 (-120 at FanDuel)

Best bet

If there ever were a time for Toronto to start strong, it would be in this situation. Toronto was embarrassed against this Royals team last night and is clinging to the final Wild Card spot. The Jays need a couple of wins before the break to feel good about things.

Kansas City gives up the third-most first-inning runs in baseball. Routinely, Grienke has fallen victim to that, even more when facing power bats. 

This shouldn't be priced at +200, in my view. Let's back the Jays to set the tone early.

Pick: Blue Jays to win the first inning (+200 at FanDuel)


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