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MLB Picks and Bets: Chicago White Sox at Kansas City Royals

The Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals get their 2019 campaigns rolling Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. First pitch will be thrown shortly after 4:15 p.m. Eastern.

Odds provided by FanDuel

Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals: Projected Starting Pitchers

LHP Carlos Rodon vs. RHP Brad Keller

Rodon was limited to 120 2/3 innings in 2018. His 4.10 BB/9 was his highest rate since his rookie 2015 season and his 6.71 K/9 was his lowest. He allowed a flyball rate of 42.9 percent that was higher than his groundball percentage, and opposing batters hit him hard 30.9 percent of the time.

Keller was a Rule 5 selection in 2017 and pitched his way to a 3.08 ERA over 140 1/3 innings last season, splitting that time nearly equally between the rotation and bullpen. He strikes out just 6.16 batters per nine innings while walking 3.21.

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Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals: By the Numbers

  • The White Sox and Royals are projected to finish third and fifth, respectively, in the AL Central at odds of +3300 and +5000.
  • Kauffman Stadium ranked 10th in run rate last season but just 21st in homers. Both teams finished in the bottom half of the league in both statistics in 2018.
  • Only five teams spent less than the Royals’ $42.3 million in the offseason after finishing at 58-104 a year ago.

Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals: Key Injuries

The Royals lost veteran C Salvador Perez to an elbow injury this spring. He’s done for the season after undergoing Tommy John surgery. C Martin Maldonado is expected to get the bulk of playing time behind the dish.

Chicago White Sox vs. Kansas City Royals: Picks and Betting Tips

Moneyline: The White Sox relied on the long ball to generate offense last year, but Keller allowed just 0.45 homers per nine. Back the Royals at -116 with the sophomore keeping Chicago grounded.

Against the spread: The spread’s set at 1.5, with the Royals at +180 to cover and Chicago favored at -215. Get the Royals at better odds than the moneyline.

Over/under: With Keller limiting damage via home run and the Royals lacking any serious power threats in their lineup, under 8 at -110 is the play until these two offenses prove themselves.

Follow Esten on Twitter @EstenMcLaren


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