New York got out of Texas with a two-game split and now the Yankees head to Kansas City for a four-game weekend series with the Royals who should be overmatched.
The Kansas City Royals are 1-6 in their last seven games, scoring an average of two runs per game with the ‘under’ 5-2. Ned Yost’s club will not have it any easier in Thursday’s series-opener against the New York Yankees, who have notched 4.6 RPG in their last five with a 3-2 record.
Both squads send left-handers to the hill for Thursday’s battle with New York’s C.C. Sabathia (14-5, 3.14 ERA) opposing Kansas City’s Bruce Chen (7-5, 4.44 ERA). Sports books opened Sabathia as a 220 MLB betting road favorite, while listing the ‘total’ at 8 ½ ‘over’ (minus 120).
Sabathia ended a two-game losing slide with Saturday’s 5-2 win for New York as a 207 home favorite against the Boston Red Sox. The four-time All-Star allowed six hits in eight innings (101 pitches), while extending his ‘under’ streak to 3-0 with the game’s seven combined runs sliding below its nine-run ‘total.’
Yankees closer Mariano Rivera pitched no-hit ball in the final inning, recording his 23rd save. The 40-year-old veteran has been active since the weekend, logging a loss and save in New York’s two games against Texas during the team’s Tuesday-Wednesday swing.
The Yankees are 7-6 in Sabathia’s 13 road starts, with the ‘under’ also 7-6. New York has shown run support in that span, averaging 5.1 RPG, while allowing 3.4 RPG.
Chen picked up a second straight win in Saturday’s 2-1 triumph by Kansas City as a 111 road dog against the Seattle Mariners. The 11-year hurler threw for seven innings (92 pitches), giving up three hits, including a solo shot to Seattle’s cleanup man Russell Branyan.
Royals relievers Blake Wood and Joakim Soria closed out the tight affair, uniting to allow two hits in the final two innings. Soria notched his 31st save, second in the AL behind Tampa Bay’s Rafael Soriano (32 saves).
Kansas City is 3-3 in Chen’s six home starts, with the ‘over’ 4-2. The former reliever, who moved to the starting rotation two months ago, has not gone past 5 2/3 innings during this span.
The Yankees are 3-1 in four games against Kansas City, all part of a series at Yankee Stadium three weeks ago, which saw the ‘over’ cash at 2-1-1.
Sabathia and Chen opposed each other in the series opener, with the Yankees coming out on top, 10-4. Sabathia was shelled for 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings (120 pitches), despite picking up the win as a 283 home favorite. Chen allowed nine hits over six innings (102 pitches), including an inside-the-park home run by New York’s Derek Jeter.
New York’s Mark Teixeira and Kansas City’s Gregor Blanco are both listed as ‘probable’ for Thursday’s game, according to DonBest.com. Both have missed the last two games for their teams due to births of new children.
Teixeira is among the AL’s top five sluggers in home runs (26) and RBIs (85), while Blanco is 5-for-25 in his seven games with the Royals after recently being acquired by the team from Atlanta.
Thursday’s first pitch is scheduled for 8:10 p.m. (ET), with a hot 90-degree night expected.