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Giants-Royals: It Ain’t the World Series

Updated: .June 13, 2017

By Charles Jay

The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants were both in a different position a few short years ago than they are now, as they were facing off against each other in the World Series. Now they are both south of the .500 mark as they meet up in the first of two games to be played at AT&T Park. If you are an America’s Bookie customer you can take advantage of all they have available to wager while the game is in progress, using the “Live Betting” options.

You look at the standings and you see that the Royals, at 28-34, are still in relative striking distance in the AL Central, just five games behind the Minnesota Twins, although the team that is perceived to be the biggest threat in the division, the Cleveland Indians, are four games ahead of KC.

The Giants, on the other hand, have a long way to go. They are 26-39 and 14.5 games behind the Colorado Rockies, and the other two teams ahead of them in the NL West – the Dodgers and D-Backs – are way ahead, so even getting into position to challenge for one of the two wild card spots is going to be a chore.

Certainly not having Madison Bumgarner, one of the acknowledged aces in baseball and a post-season hero, doesn’t help. But we was 0-3 for this team before going down with an injury from which he could be back reasonably soon. The problem with the Giants has been mounting an offense; this team is hitting just .237. The saving grace here might be that the Royals are not having a stellar offensive season either, as they are batting only .238 as a team.

In the MLB betting odds posted on this game, the Giants are the favorites:

San Francisco Giants (Blach) -120
Kansas City Royals (Vargas) +100

Under 7.5 Runs -115
Over 7.5 Runs -105

Royals +1.5 Runs -210
Giants -1.5 Runs +175

Jason Vargas started Game 4 of the 2014 World Series for the Royals against the Giants, and things didn’t necessarily go all that well, as he lasted only four innings. But they went a lot better for him on April 19, as he tossed seven innings of scoreless baseball, out-dueling Bumgarner in a KC win. We can’t really fault this guy too much, as he has given the Royals some steady pitching on the way to an 8-3 record and 2.18 ERA, which actually places him second in the American League in the earned run average department.

He has been facing some tough opponents of late; scoring two straight victories over the Indians and then beating the Astros. If you want to examine all of this a little closer, however, you’ll notice that Vargas had a very hot start to the season, but in his last five starts he he has registered only one “Game Score” over 55, and a 3.93 ERA that is respectable, but not close to his overall numbers.

And while the Royals could count on a sizzling bullpen in the two years they reached the Fall Classic (with one victory and one defeat), they have been leaky this year; for instance, they have a 5.49 ERA in road games.

As far as this home-road split is concerned, Ty Blach (4-3, 3.64 ERA), the Giants’ starter, who entered the rotation when Bumgarner got hurt, gets much more than a passing grade. Blach hasn’t been able to get the job done on the road all that well (6.04 ERA), but at AT&T Park he has a 1.75 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and has held opponents to a .190 batting average. He has also shut the door on power hitters, yielding only on homer in 36 innings. He’s real tough on left-handed hitters (.175), while Vargas, a southpaw, has been strangely ineffective against lefty batsmen (who have hit .383 against him). We know that Bruce Bochy is smart enough to realize this – at least we hope he is.

So we are going to put forth a measured recommendation on the Giants, and would also grab +115 with the Giants scoring first, citing the fact that Blach has allowed the opposition just a .138 batting average in the first inning and .152 in the second. If it goes past that we may have some worries, as the Charles Jay / America’s Bookie Challenge continues on Tuesday night.

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