Texas (Bibens-dirkx) at Kansas City (Junis) -115 O/U 9.5
Recommendation: Kansas City
On most nights, it's tough to make a case for betting the Kansas City Royals who are currently 22-51 with a MLB-worst -1.9 run differential. Over their last 20 games, the Royals have won only four times. And in terms of profits, KC is down over -22 units on the season. But while there's little to like about the team, there are things to like about tonight's starter Jake Junis. With a plus breaking pitch, Junis entered June with a 3.61 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning rate. His numbers are now skewed some due to back-to-back poor outings but they were perhaps explainable. After posting a 7.1 IP, 3 ER, 9 K outing vs. Oakland he was forced to face the A's again five days later. They got to him for six runs, including three that left the yard. And last time out, he was tasked with facing the best offense in MLB as the Astros smoked him for six runs and, again, three dingers. Tonight is a much more favorable matchup in large part because Texas has never faced the young right-hander. Meanwhile, the Rangers just recalled Austin Bibens-Dirkx who made his MLB debut last season at the age of 32 years old. Over the last two seasons, Biben-Dirkx has been as hittable as they come: 80.1 IP, 91 hits, 15 home runs, 49 strikeouts, 5.33 FIP. Included in that was a start against the Royals a month ago in which he allowed eight hits and four earned runs over 6.1 innings. In the end, he's one of the few starting pitchers in MLB that the Royals are deserving favorites over.