The Kansas City Royals and Baltimore Orioles will begin a three-game series on national television this evening.
The O's come into this matchup amid some lousy recent form, as they lost two of three earlier in the week to the Milwaukee Brewers. Still, they did salvage a win in the series finale yesterday. While things have been rough for Baltimore, they've been worse for the Royals. Kansas City comes into this matchup off suffering a series sweep vs. the Miami Marlins, and have just one win in their last six games.
Read on for my best bet and full MLB picks and predictions for Royals vs. Orioles on Friday, June 9.
Royals vs Orioles odds
Royals vs Orioles predictions
The best way to approach this game is via the prop market and isolating the poor Royals offense when doing it. I will make two wagers on this front that are directly tied together. We'll get to my best bet regarding Tyler Wells walks at the end.
The first fade of the Royals offense will be a half-unit wager on Wells Over 6.5 strikeouts, which is available at the attractive price of +140 a BetRivers.
Wells sits in the Top 30% of baseball in K-rate and has exceeded this number in five consecutive starts. That means if you scraped away everything about this matchup and just looked at recent form, you'd still have immense value at a number like +150.
My projections have this number at +120, and my handicap likes it more. The Royals have the fourth-highest swing rate in baseball and the second-highest whiff rate. Those numbers speak for themselves — this is too valuable to pass up.
But my best bet for this one is Tyler Wells Under 1.5 walks at DraftKings. I'll happily take a coin-flip line on something I project at -140.
As I said, this ties directly into the first play, noting the Royals' swing rate being a high one. It goes deeper than just that, though.
No team in baseball has been consistently less impatient at the plate. Whether recently or season-long, the Royals don't walk a lot. They have the second-fewest walks on average this season and third-fewest of their last three games — both numbers hover around two.
In addition to this, Wells is outstanding at not giving the free pass. He has a BB% in the elite tier of the entire league, and pairs it with that solid K-rate.
At +100, a bet on Wells to do what he's done all season for the Orioles, and for K.C. to continue swinging at almost everything they see is the best bet on the board. I would take it down to -120.
My best bet: Wells Under 1.5 walks (+100)
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Royals vs Orioles moneyline analysis
Given what I spoke about under my best bet, I lean to the O's here, but there needs to be more value.
I think Daniel Lynch is being undervalued here. He's not been dominant in his first two starts, but he's been consistently solid. He's also been unlucky, given what his underlying metrics say compared to his actual results. If Lynch can get some positive variance, he can do enough to turn this game into one decided by the bullpens.
However, given their matchup and what we've seen from them lately, I'm not ready to lean on this Kansas City team to do much of anything on the scoreboard. That illustrates the major issue with taking either side here, and why I'll pass on the moneyline entirely.
Royals vs Orioles Over/Under analysis
I'm adding to my portfolio in this game with a half unit Under 8.5 play at -120 over at DraftKings.
What I've said previously should provide enough clarity on why I feel this way. In short, we have a pitcher due for some light positive regression, which is being undervalued by the market. On the other side, we have a strong pitcher with close to a perfect matchup against one of the worst teams in baseball.
I projected this number at 8, but with my handicap in mind, I think even that is a little bullish. Some extreme trends are pointing in our direction here as well. The Under is 7-0 in K.C.'s last seven road games against right-handed starters. In addition to that, the Under is 6-1 in the Royals' last seven games following a loss.
Royals vs Orioles game info
|Location:||Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD|
|Date:||Friday, June 9, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:05 p.m. ET|
Daniel Lynch (0-1, 4.35 ERA): In his two starts this season, Lynch has yet to go beyond 5 1/3 innings. Each start has been quality, but neither is much to write home about. That said, Lynch has probably been slightly unlucky, with an expected ERA close to 3.00. The fastball pitch has eluded him with a batting average above .300 and an expected one that's even higher. If Lynch could improve on that pitch, he could be in line for one of the better seasons of his career, as the rest of his arsenal has been close to unhittable.
Tyler Wells (4-2, 3.29 ERA): Wells has been up-and-down this season. Still, a few things have been consistent: He's not going to walk many batters, he's going to strike out a ton of batters, and he's not going to give up many hits. He ranks in the Top 20% of baseball in each metric to back that view up. His last start against the San Francisco Giants was a typical one from him, when he gave up two earned runs on four hits in just over five innings of baseball.
Trend to know
The Under is 10-2 in the Royals' last 12 games. Find more MLB betting trends for Royals vs. Orioles