Royals vs Blue Jays Predictions, Picks, Odds: Friday Fireworks As Starters Struggle

Yusei Kikuchi has been struggling of late, but can he lift the Jays to a needed win over the lowly Royals? Our MLB picks think so, but it may not be pretty.

Last Updated: Sep 8, 2023 11:03 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Yusei Kikuchi MLB
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The Toronto Blue Jays are fresh off a series win over the Athletics and will look to continue their push for an AL Wild Card spot against the Kansas City Royals — another club that sits at the bottom of the MLB standings.

Toronto comes into this one as the -229 favorite according to our MLB odds, though starter Yusei Kikuchi will need to rebound from a string of poor performances if the Jays are going to live up to the hype.

Keep reading for more on our Royals vs. Blue Jays MLB picks and predictions for Friday, September 8.

Royals vs Blue Jays odds

Royals vs Blue Jays predictions

Tonight’s contest is shaping up to be anything but a pitcher’s duel with Yusei Kikuchi getting the call for the Blue Jays and Collin Snider taking the mound for the Royals in what projects as a bullpen game.

Kikuchi had been on a roll from mid-July to mid-August, allowing just five earned runs over a span of six starts, but it’s all fallen apart for the Blue Jays starter since then. The southpaw was rocked for six hits and six runs — though just two earned — over just 4.2 innings in his last start against the Rockies on September 2 and has surrendered 13 runs (nine earned) across his last three outings.

Meanwhile, Snider is set to make his first start and 11th appearance of the season for Kansas City. The right-hander gave up two hits and one run (none earned) over two innings against the White Sox on September 4 — his longest outing of the season. 

Obviously, the Royals won’t be getting much length out of Snider so we’re going to see at least five or six arms take the mound for Kansas City tonight. The Royals own the third-worst bullpen ERA in the majors this season at 5.25 — something that the Jays bats will look to capitalize on.

Toronto is averaging 7.00 runs per game over its last seven contests so I think it’s safe to say we should see the clubs clear the Over on 9 runs tonight.

My best bet: Over 9 (-108 at SIA)

Royals vs Blue Jays same-game parlay

Over 9.5 Runs (+110)
Velazquez 1+ RBI (+215)
Schneider 2+ Total Bases (+150)

Along with taking the Over on 9.5 runs, we’ll round out tonight’s same-game parlay by banking on a couple of hot bats in Nelson Velazquez and Davis Schneider.

Velazquez has been Kansas City’s main threat at the plate over the past week, recording a team-high four home runs, nine RBI, and 22 total bases in just six games. The right fielder drove in five runs in the club’s three-game series against the White Sox and has recorded an RBI in five of his last six outings.

Schneider continues to light it up for the Jays as he slugged a home run in Toronto’s series finale against Oakland on Thursday. The rookie has multiple bases in five of his last six games and nine of his last 12 outings.

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Royals vs Blue Jays moneyline and Over/Under analysis

The Blue Jays opened as huge home favorites at -229 on the moneyline over the Royals, who hold the second-worst record in the majors. While Kikuchi hasn’t been at the top of his game, Toronto should still have enough of an edge to take this one comfortably.

Kansas City owns the fourth-worst offense in the MLB at just 4.07 runs per game this season. The Royals have shown some pop in recent weeks, scoring a combined 32 runs over their last three victories, but they’ve averaged a mere 2.78 runs per game across their nine losses since August 25. If Kikuchi is going to have a bounce-back performance, tonight would be the time.

The total for this one opened at 9 runs and as stated, I like the Over given Toronto’s hot bats and Kansas City’s weak bullpen. 

Toronto has had plenty of cold streaks at the plate this season, but the bats have been heating up over the past two weeks or so, with the Jays scoring 6.73 runs per game over their last 11 outings. Coming up against one of the worst bullpens in the majors, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Blue Jays put up seven or eight runs on their own.

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Trend to know

The Over is 7-2-1 in Toronto’s last 10 games. Find more MLB betting trends for Royals vs. Blue Jays

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Royals vs Blue Jays game info

Location: Rogers Centre, Toronto, ON
Date: Friday, September 8, 2023
First pitch: 7:07 p.m. ET
TV: Bally Sports Kansas City, Sportsnet

Starting pitchers

Collin Snider (0-0, 4.22 ERA): Snider has not pitched a ton for the Royals this year, making just 10 relief appearances and throwing 10.2 innings since his season debut on July 2. The right-hander averages about one inning per appearance while giving up one earned run for every two innings pitched.

Yusei Kikuchi (9-5, 3.63 ERA): Kikuchi has run into trouble early in ballgames of late, failing to get out of the fifth inning in two of his last three starts. The left-hander made his first start of the season against the Royals on April 4, holding them to three hits and one earned run over five innings.

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