Monday night will feature an American League showdown as the Kansas City Royals (29-28) take on the Los Angeles Angels (27-32). Los Angeles will host this one at Angel Stadium, with first pitch scheduled for 9:38 pm ET. This will be the first of a three-game series between the two teams.
For the Royals, they are coming off of a four-game split with the Minnesota Twins. While they won the first two games of the series, they dropped the games on Saturday and Sunday.
In Sunday’s 2-1 loss, the Royals couldn’t get anything going as they mustered just one run on six hits. They left ten runners stranded in the loss.
The Angels also split their four-game series over the weekend with the Seattle Mariners. They dropped Sunday’s contest 9-5. In the loss, Justin Upton hit his 13th home run of the season.
The Angels are the favorites playing at home. They are -130 to win while the Royals’ moneyline is +110. The runline features Kansas City +1.5 (-170).
The Royals will send righty Jackson Kowar to the mound on Monday to make his major league debut. Ranked as the Royals’ fourth-best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, Kowar was 5-0 with a 0.85 ERA with Triple-A Omaha.
The Angels will counter with Dylan Bundy (0-6, 6.49 ERA). In his last start, a 6-1 loss to the San Francisco Giants, he went 5.2 innings allowing four runs. His biggest issue in that loss was the long ball, as he gave up three home runs.
By The Numbers
These two have been very similar in terms of their offensive production. The Angels rank 13th in MLB in scoring, averaging 4.55 runs per game. The Royals rank 14th, averaging 4.50 runs.
Defensively, it is the Royals who hold a slight advantage. They rank 19th overall, allowing opponents 4.59 runs per game. The Angels fall to 27th, allowing an average of 5.21 runs.
Kansas City Fighting To Hang Around In Division Race
After getting out to a thunderous start this season, the Royals have fallen to third in the A.L. Central, six games behind the Chicago White Sox. Trying to stick around in the divisional race, they will need to improve on their 13-13 road record.
Trying to lead them to victory Monday is a trio of veterans in Salvador Perez, Carlos Santana, and Whit Merrifield. Perez leads the team in home runs (14) and runs batted in (40).
For Santana, he is second in both with ten home runs and 36 runs batted. Finally, Merrifield is hitting .268/.324/.409 with five home runs, 35 runs batted in, and is the team leader in both runs (38) and stolen bases (17).
Angels Look To Improve At Home
At 27-32, the Angeles currently find themselves seven games back in the A.L. West behind the Oakland Athletics. Unfortunately for Angels’ fans, they are under .500 both at home (15-16) and on the road (12-16).
With Mike Trout out for the foreseeable future with an injury, the Angels’ offense is driven by Shohei Ohtani. This season, he is hitting .256/.332/.588 with a team-leading 16 home runs, 42 runs batted in, and 37 runs scored.
Keep an eye on Justin Upton in this one. He has been scorching hot over the last week, hitting .421/.560/1.053 with three home runs, seven runs batted in, and eight runs scored in that span.
Taking The Runs In A Matchup Tough To Call
This isn’t a matchup that is easy to call. On the one hand, you have the unknown of a pitcher making his major league debut, but on the other hand, you have a pitcher that has been downright awful in Dylan Bundy.
With so many uncertainties, the safe bet is on the runline. In this case, take Kansas City at +1.5.