Houston beat the New York Yankees 3 to 1 in the AL Wildcard Game on Tuesday night. Houston moves on to face the number one seed in the AL Playoffs this season, last year’s Wildcard winner, the Kansas City Royals.
The Royals have been waiting for the playoffs for a while. They really thought that they had a chance to beat San Francisco in the World Series last season. Too much Madison Bumgarner led to the Royals’ downfall. Will they get another crack at the World Series? If so, they’ll have to beat upstart Houston in the ALDS.
A Closer Look At How To Bet The Houston Astros vs Kansas City Royals MLB American League Series
Why the Astros Will Win the ALDS versus the Royals
Houston is 4-2 versus the Royals this season.
In the first half of the season, Houston swept the KC Royals 3 to 0 in a series. In the second half of the season, the Royals beat Houston 2 to 1 in a series. Overall, Houston is 4 and 2 during the regular season against the Royals.
The key for the Astros has to do with their pitchers. Since Dallas Keuchel threw a brilliant game off of 3 days of rest against the Yankees in the AL Wildcard Game, Colin McHugh is the Game 1 starter. McHugh has pitched very well versus the Royals. He’s allowed 6 hits from 28 at-bats for a .214 average.
The Astros haven’t had much luck against KC’s Game 1 starter Yordano Ventura. But, they have done well versus likely Game 2 KC starter Johnny Cueto. Cueto just hasn’t been himself since coming over from Cincinnati. In September, Cueto’s ERA rose to 4.95.
Outside of Yordano Ventura, and Ventura has to be on his game to hold down Houston’s bats, the Astros matchup well with Kansas City.
Why the Royals Will Win the ALDS versus the Astros
The Royals 2014 World Series run is something that can’t be taught.
Kansas City made it all the way to the World Series last season. If San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner hadn’t provided one of the best World Series ever by a pitcher, KC may have won it.
Houston has a potential Madbum in Dallas Keuchel, but the Royals are only likely to see Keuchel once during this abbreviated 5 game series. That could definitely swing things in the Royals’ favor if they are able to beat McHugh in Game 1 and whomever they face in Game 2.
Expect Royals’ manager Ned Yost to be thinking the same way for this series. Yost has to believe that his team has the experience to win the series. Experience requires giving Cueto a lot of support in Game 2, offering the Astros Game 3, and then closing it out in Game 4. If Yost uses Kansas City’s experience in order to correctly set up his rotation, KC might be tough to beat.
But KC’s starting pitching might not help Yost. Yordano Ventura can be a loose cannon on the mound and Cueto still has find his best form. My final series prediction is Astros 3, Royals 2.