Sportsmemo's MLB Betting Preview: Kansas City Royals
Submitted by Andrew Lange
Tags: MLB Kansas City Royals Andrew Lange
Kansas City Royals
+ 19.4 units
2016 O/U Wins (Westgate):
2016 AL Central Odds (Westgate):
Projected Starting Rotation:
Yordano Ventura, Edinson Volquez, Ian Kennedy, Chris Young, Kris Medlen
Johnny Cueto, Ryan Madson, Ben Zobrist, Jeremy Guthrie, Joba Chamberlain
Travis Snider, Dillon Gee, Joakim Soria
Handicapper's Take: "Amazingly, the Royals didn't have one elite-level starting pitcher last season. In fact, they won the World Series with a slew of decidedly mediocre arms. Yordano Ventura is only 24 years old and the only starter who has upside/room to grow assuming his slight frame can handle the workload. Ian Kennedy comes over from San Diego and gets to watch the best outfield in baseball track down all of the line drives and fly balls he's bound to surrender. Edinson Volquez is 32 years old and off a four-year stretch of nearly 800 innings including last year's career-high 230 if you include the postseason. He's a prime fade candidate to start the year. There is simply no way of knowing how many innings aging Chris Young and injury-prone Kris Medlen will be able to produce. And arguably the most talented starter on the staff, Danny Duffy, may pitch out of the bullpen due to arm problems and inconsistency.
This team is really a fascinating handicap. The betting markets are centered around starting pitching. Crappy team, key injury, poor defense -- it doesn't matter. If you have a top-tier arm on the hill, you're going to be laying a big price. KC doesn't have that. Consider this: the Royals' average moneyline price was -112 last year. And in the postseason, they were favored three times in 16 games!
This of course brings us to the other factors. KC has a ton of speed, the best defense in the league, as well as one of the best bullpens. Get 5 or 6 decent innings from our starters, win all of the other in-game battles, and over the course of a full season we'll churn out 90+ wins and +20 units. It probably won't be as formulaic as that in 2016, but it’s scary how solid this team is built compared to the rest of the AL Central. So while the starting staff grades out as league average at best it's the other attributes bettors can feel good about going to battle with. And based on the projected regression (95 wins to 83.5), you won't have to worry about finding value."
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