St. Louis (Wacha) -120 at Kansas City (Vargas) O/U 9
St. Louis' Michael Wacha has somewhat flown under the radar this season as he continues to hover between elite and very good NL starter. Of late, he's been elite and some with a sick stat line over his last six starts: 36.2 IP, 42 Ks, 8 BBs, 1.96 ERA. On the season, Wacha is right at a strikeout per inning and keeps the ball on the ground more often than not with only 11 home runs allowed. And while some may feel pitching in the American League park will mark a step up in class, the Royals are a very manageable offense. Kansas City put together a recent nine-game winning streak that put them in "contention" in the AL Central. But outside of that small sample (7.4 runs per game), this team and more importantly, offense, has been well below league average. Offensively, the Royals rank dead last in the AL in wRC+ (88). It's a low walk rate, low on-base pct. outfit that will be without the services of one of it's better offensive weapons with Salvador Perez currently on the DL. There's been a strong move to fade KC's Jason Vargas over his last few starts, including today, due to a plethora of "red flag" metrics. Vargas isn't a "3.10 ERA guy" but he's built to pitch on the Royals and in Kauffman Stadium. At home, Vargas flashes a 2.71 ERA and the team is 8-3 in those starts. Facing a mediocre NL lineup, it's not as strong of a "regression" start as his last two were (at Baltimore, at Boston; Vargas ironically allowed a very respectable 4 ERs over 11 IP). Game was bet down off of the opener of 9. Still a few remain which would be worth seeking out. Play this one under the total.