The Kansas City Royals will attempt to avoid a four-game sweep as they face off with the New York Yankees in the Bronx on Sunday. It's time to continue our MLB odds coverage with a Royals-Yankees prediction and pick.
The Yankees throttled the Royals 8-2 on Saturday, to improve their mark against Kansas City to 6-0 in 2022. The Bronx Bombers started things off hot when D.J. LeMahieu slammed a solo home run to left field. It was his ninth of the season, giving the Yankees the early 1-0 lead. Then, Gleyber Torres clipped an RBI double to make it 2-0. The second inning came around and the court was in session as Aaron Judge blasted a two-run bomb to right field. It was his league-leading 42nd of the season, giving the Yankees the 4-0 lead. Later, LeMahieu added to the tally with an RBI single to left-center field to boost the lead to 5-2. Matt Carpenter added a blast in the eighth inning, his 15th of the season, to finish the scoring for the Yanks.
Zach Grienke will go for the Royals today. Grienke is 3-6 with a 4.35 ERA. Recently, he tossed five scoreless innings while allowing three hits. Grienke is 1-2 with a 4.26 ERA in July. Alternatively, he has not had success against the Yankees, going 4-5 with a 4.99 ERA over 17 career appearances against the Bronx Bombers. Grienke also has never won a game at Yankee Stadium, sitting at 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA in seven games (six starts). On the opposite side, Jordan Montgomery goes for the Yankees. Montgomery is 3-3 with a 3.50 ERA. However, he struggled in his last start, lasting only 2 1/3 innings while allowing five runs (four earned) with five hits in a loss to the New York Mets on Tuesday. Montgomery will attempt to stay clean at Yankee Stadium, where he is 1-0 with a 3.33 ERA over nine starts.
Here are the Royals-Yankees MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Royals-Yankees Odds
Kansas City Royals: +1.5 (+120)
New York Yankees: -1.5 (-144)
Over: 9 (-102)
Under: 9 (-120)
Why The Royals Could Cover The Spread
The Royals do not have many strengths. Thus, they have to rely on good fortune most of the time. Grienke is not the same pitcher he once was. Likewise, he is winding down a Hall-of-Fame career and can only do so much. Grienke must find a way to contain the Bronx Bombers. Moreover, he cannot allow Judge to hurt him. Judge has blasted three home runs in this series. Also, the shots have come at the worst time. Grienke has to get around the slugger. Then, he must figure out how to stop everyone else.
The Royals still rank 12th in batting average, 20th in on-base percentage, 27th in runs, 27th in home runs, and 24th in slugging percentage. Hence, they can hit the ball but falter with runners in scoring position. The Royals must generate scoring and do it early. Also, they have to pressure Montgomery early and force him on his heels.
The Royals will cover the spread if Grienke pitches well. Likewise, they need the offense to produce and not put themselves in a significant hole early.
Why The Yankees Could Cover The Spread
Montgomery is the definition of a middle-of-the-rotation guy. He comes in and gets the job done on most days. However, Montgomery has struggled at times and will need to reel it in. Likewise, he does not have a win in July. Montgomery must locate his pitches and not allow the Royals to get to him early.
Judge is on a historic pace with 42 home runs. Now, he might hit 67 at the rate he is going. It would be a new Yankees record if he were to achieve it. The Yankees continue to lead the league in runs, home runs, and slugging percentage. Additionally, New York ranks 14th in batting average and second in on-base percentage. The Yankees seem to found the groove they lost after a bad series with the Mets. Significantly, the Yankees fire on all cylinders when facing the Royals. They are 6-0 against the Royals this year and 34-12 against Kansas City since 2015.
The Yankees will cover the spread if Montgomery continues his good work at Yankee Stadium. Likewise, the Yanks could give him a boost with some offense. It would be more difficult to do that a few years ago, but Grienke is hittable today.
Final Royals-Yankees Prediction & Pick
Get the brooms out. This series has sweep written all over it. Consequently, it seems almost certain that the Yankees will prevail. Run the table on the Yanks to get the job done convincingly.
Final Royals-Yankees Prediction & Pick: New York Yankees: -1.5 (-144)