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MLB Betting Preview (April 22): Blue Jays vs. Royals predictions

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Photo credit:Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Greg Warren
5 days ago
After taking two of three games over the weekend to earn their fourth consecutive series win, the Toronto Blue Jays will head to Kansas City on Monday to take on the Royals at Kauffman Stadium in the opener of a four-game set.
The Blue Jays couldn’t pull off the sweep Sunday, falling 6-3 to the Padres in the series finale at Petco Park. Despite the loss, the Blue Jays are in great form recently, claiming wins in six of their eight games.
 

After a major roster overhaul this past offseason, the Royals are off to an impressive 13-9 start, sitting just three games back of the Cleveland Guardians for the American League Central lead. They’ll be looking to avoid a third straight loss Monday after the Baltimore Orioles took two of three games against them over the weekend. The Orioles claimed a 5-0 win over the Royals on Sunday, holding them to just five hits.
Let’s take a look at the game odds for Monday’s clash between the Blue Jays and Royals via bet365:

Blue Jays vs. Royals odds

Blue Jays Moneyline Odds-115
Royals Moneyline Odds-105
Runline OddsBlue Jays -1.5 (+145), Royals +1.5 (-170)
Over/UnderOver 8.5 runs (-120), Under 8.5 runs (+100)
Time/DateApril 22, 7:40 p.m. ET
TVBroadcast: SN1

Betting Toronto Blue Jays (12-10 SU, 13-9 ATS, 10-12 o/u)

Daulton Varsho has been carrying the team offensively recently, recording four homers and 10 RBIs over Toronto’s last eight games. But scoring runs consistently has been a problem for the Blue Jays as they rank 21st in the majors in runs per game (3.9). They’ve scored more than five runs in just three of their 22 contests to this point, and they rank in the bottom half of the league in OPS, slugging percentage, and team batting average.
Pitching is supposed to be the strength of the team this year, but statistically, the staff as a whole has struggled early on. Jays’ pitchers have a combined 4.41 ERA (24th in the majors) and they’ve given up the most homers (31) to this point. Toronto’s relievers have an ugly 5.24 ERA (24th in MLB) and they’ve coughed up 15 homers and 47 runs on 71 hits. Jordan Romano and Erik Swanson did begin the season on the injured list, though, but both hurlers are now healthy and should help stabilize the bullpen in the long term.

Betting Kansas City Royals (13-9 SU, 13-9 ATS, 8-13-1 o/u)

The Royals had won nine straight home games before dropping two to the Orioles over the weekend. In fact, the Royals’ 77 runs in 13 home games lead the American League.
Veteran catcher Salvador Perez is off to a red-hot start, boasting a .333/.395/.590 slash line with six homers and 22 RBIs in 21 games. And shortstop Bobby Witt Jr. is picking up right where he left off last year, hitting .300 with four homers while collecting four stolen bases early in the season.

Kansas City’s revamped pitching staff is allowing just 3.2 runs per game, the lowest in the majors, and boasts a 3.19 ERA (fifth in MLB). The team’s .989 fielding percentage ranks fourth in the majors.

Probable starting pitchers

Toronto: LHP Yusei Kikuchi (1-1, 2.08 ERA, 12.05 K/9, 1.15 WHIP)
Kikuchi was excellent last time out, holding the New York Yankees to just one run on four hits while striking out nine over six innings of work. He’s allowed just two earned runs over 17 1/3 innings of work this month while fanning 25 batters, but he doesn’t have great career numbers against the Royals. In seven career starts against Kansas City, the lefty is 1-2 with a lofty 6.37 ERA.

Weather

 
Kansas City: RHP Brady Singer (2-0, 1.54 ERA, 8.87 K/9, 0.86 WHIP)
Kansas City has won all four of Singer’s starts this season and he’s allowed no more than two earned runs in all of his four starts. The righty has really benefitted early this year from the development of a split-change that has helped induce weak contact. Opponents are hitting just .163 against him, which ranks Singer third in the American League in that category. Historically Singer has pitched well against Toronto, going 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA over three career starts against the Blue Jays.
Forecasts are calling for clear skies with temperatures around 20 C at first pitch. Winds will be blowing out to left field at 23 mph (with gusts up to 30 mph), which could help the ball carry out of the ballpark.

MLB betting trends

  • The Blue Jays have won nine of the 12 games (75%) they’ve been favoured in this season.
  • The Royals have won seven of the 13 games (53.8%) they’ve been underdogs this season.
  • Kansas City has covered the first five innings runline in 27 of its past 39 (69.2%) home games.
  • The under is 5-2 in the Royals’ last seven games.

MLB player prop trends

  • Kikuchi has been a strikeout machine, posting seven or more in each of his last three outings. He’s +105 to record over 6.5 strikeouts.
  • Royals first baseman Vinnie Pasquantino has hit safely in 10 straight games and boasts a solid .308 batting average versus left-handed pitching this season. He’s  -210 to get a hit and +150 to record over 1.5 total bases.

Blue Jays vs. Royals predictions

  • There could be some value in backing Royals outfielder Hunter Renfroe to have some success on Monday night. He’s 3-for-5 with a home run and two RBIs in five career at-bats against Kikuchi. Renfroe has struggled with a .164/.227/.311 slash line early this season, but he’s -160 to get a hit, +200 to drive in a run, and +450 to homer.
  • Royals team total over 4.5 runs (+110): The Royals are averaging 5.9 runs per game at home this season and the winds will be blowing out at Kauffman Stadium. Kikuchi will be a tough test for Kansas City but he typically blows through his pitch count quickly as a high-strikeout pitcher. The Royals should be able to scratch a couple of runs across the plate early against the left-hander and then feast on Toronto’s shaky bullpen later in the game.
  • If you want to wager on Varsho remaining hot, he’s -200 to get a hit, +165 to drive in a run, and +475 to homer. Varsho is 1-for-5 in his career against Singer, but he did take him deep in his one successful at-bat.

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