Betting Tip: Kansas City Royals vs Seattle Mariners

The Kansas City Royals roll into Thursday’s four-game series opener against the Seattle Mariners holding down the second wildcard spot in the American League. However, the Royals are currently on a three-game losing streak after being swept by the Baltimore Orioles, which marks the longest skid in nearly a month. It was disappointing series that saw them get outscored 15-3 including being shutout 6-0 on Wednesday afternoon.

Meanwhile the Mariners find themselves just 1.5 games back for the second wildcard spot having won six of their last nine games after losing three of four games to the New York Yankees.

Following a slow start to the season, Kansas City had turned it around drastically in the month of July that includes winning 11 of 14 after falling in five straight games that saw them collectively bat .307 over the stretch with 22 home runs and 89 runs scored over that hot stretch.

The Royals were led by their two power bats in the month of July with All-Star first baseman Eric Hosmer, who batted .379 with six home runs and 21 RBIs, and All-Star third baseman Mike Moustakas, who hit .287 with nine home runs and 21 RBIs over that span. Hosmer has remained hot with his bat into the month of August batting .442 during his current eight-game hitting streak.

Kansas also hold the mental edge over Seattle after a clean sweep on the road that saw them outscore Kansas City 19-10 over that span. This includes an extra innings 9-6 win in the series finale.

The pitching matchup in Thursday’s tilt will feature Yovani Gallardo taking the bump for Mariners. The 31-year-old has struggled for much of his first season with the team holding a 5-7 record with a 5.34 ERA in 20 appearances with 16 starts made. This will only mark his third start since mid-June.

Gallardo made a three-inning relief appearance against the Royals on July 4 where he struck out three batters and allowed one run. In his career, he holds a 1-1 record with a 3.79 ERA in five game played.

Meanwhile, Trevor Cahill will take the mound to counter for Kansas City. He has struggled over his last two starts where he possesses a 11.74 ERA. However, he has held his own in his 12 career starts against Seattle with a 5-4 record with a 3.45 ERA.

There could be some potential problems ahead for Cahill with the Mariners as the team holds a career .329 batting average against him with All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano hitting .500 with one home run, four RBIs, and three doubles.

These numbers are stark contrast to Cano’ lack of production that came in the team’s three-game set earlier this year as he batted a meager .077 with four strikeouts with one hit and one run in 13 total at-bats. In fact, this is currently the lowest batting average he has against any opponent this season.

With the Royals coming off being swept by the Orioles, the are currently the underdog at -130, which takes into full account their lack of production and struggles over the last few days. What makes matters more in favor of the Mariners is the pitching matchup against Cahill, who they have had plenty of success against his career.

Baseball is a game of stretches of hot and cold periods, and the Mariners are experiencing a strong stretch that has them back squarely in the playoff picture. A win to begin the series would close the gap to just half a game for the final wildcard spot in the American League.

Things are certainly trending in the direction of going with Seattle to keep the ball rolling against a struggling Royals team that has difficult finding any level of consistency this season. We would suggest taking that spread given how things are heading for both teams with Mariners hedging toward overtaking the final playoff spot from the Royals by the end of this four-game series.