MLB Game Preview: Toronto Blue Jays at Kansas City Royals

Apr 5, 2023

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Game: Toronto Blue Jays @ Kansas City Royals

Time: 7:40 p.m.

Odds: Blue Jays -178, Royals +164

Total: 8.5

The Toronto Blue Jays were incredibly generous with their pitching to start the 2023 season. Prior to last night’s 4-1 win over the Kansas City Royals, the Blue Jays had allowed 31 runs in their first four games of the new season.

When Alek Manoah takes the mound tonight for Toronto, he will be looking to make up for a difficult season-opening performance. Manoah will go up against fellow right-hander Zack Greinke and the visiting Royals in game two of their series. On Opening Day, Manoah (0-0, 13.50 ERA) pitched 3.1 innings in a loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. He allowed five runs on nine hits, including two home runs. The 25-year-old put the blame on himself for not being as aggressive as he should have been. In each of his three career appearances against the Royals, Manoah has accomplished that. In 20 innings pitched against them, he is 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA while fanning 14 batters.

On Tuesday, Manoah’s teammate Yusei Kikuchi excelled in his own right, overcoming a first-inning home run to throw five solid innings in the victory over the Royals. With the win, Toronto ended a three-game losing streak and evened the four-game series at one win each.

With an RBI single among his three hits on Tuesday, Matt Chapman maintained his blistering start to the season. In five games, he is 11-for-19 with three RBIs.

The Royals’ Greinke (0-1, 3.38) will be in charge of controlling Chapman tonight after suffering a tough-luck loss in his first start of the year. Last Thursday’s 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Twins saw the former Cy Young Award winner pitch 5.1 innings while giving up just two runs on six hits. In 15 career games (13 starts), Greinke, 39, has a 5-5 record and a 4.08 ERA against Toronto.

Despite only starting two of his team’s five games this season, Matt Duffy of Kansas City is off to a strong start. He improved to 5-for-7 on the young season with three hits on Tuesday. It’s unlikely he continues to hit .700 for the season, but he’ll be a key for Kansas City this season.

Going back to last season, both teams have been trending Over. Four of the Blue Jays’ last six games and nine of the Royals’ last 12 have gone Over. Tonight, there will be an 11-mph wind blowing out toward right field. Kansas City is just 1-4 SU in its last five at home. The Blue Jays are 4-1 SU in their last five against the Royals.

The series between the two teams, however, has favored Under bettors. In the last 15 games between these two teams, the Under has hit 10 times. In six of the last eight head-to-head meetings between the Blue Jays and Royals, the Under is 6-2. The Royals are 29th in scoring (2.80) so far this season. Last year, they finished 24th (3.95).

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