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Royals, Orioles Clash In Battle Of Early Wild Card Contenders

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 5/6/2013 7:53:13 PM

The Baltimore Orioles came out of nowhere to clinch an American League playoff spot via the Wild Card a year ago, and are on track to challenge for a spot in the postseason again early on this sports betting season. The Kansas City Royals are hoping to match what the Orioles do, and then beat them out for that final playoff spot. It is still only May, and a lot can change between now and September, but these early wins will count just the same in determining the team that gets in and the team that doesn’t. The Royals will visit Baltimore for a three-game set early this week, and both teams will be looking to get the early jump.

Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles
Tuesday, 7:05 PM ET

The key to turning things around in Kansas City has been the excellent pitching numbers the team has registered to this point, as the team ranks fifth in combined ERA. Ervin Santana has been one of those arms that have helped make the difference, as he is 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA in five starts and hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs in any of his last four online betting starts. The Orioles have been one of the better hitting teams in the majors this season, so Santana will need to bring his best stuff to give his team a chance at Camden Yards. Wei-Yin Chen’s 3.50 ERA isn’t awful, but he is coming off of his worst start of the season after allowing five earned runs in just four innings of work against the Seattle Mariners and could still be vulnerable.

MLB Betting Pick: Kansas City Royals + 140

Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles
Wednesday, 7:05 PM ET

Baltimore will be feeling much more confident heading in to the second game of this series, especially considering how good Chris Tillman has been for them so far. Tillman has registered consecutive wins for the Orioles, and has allowed just three earned runs in his last 20.2 innings of work. Luis Mendoza will make his fourth start of the season, and he lasted just four innings in his last appearance after giving up six earned runs in a 9-8 loss to the Tampa Bay Rays.

MLB Betting Pick: Baltimore Orioles - 150

Kansas City Royals @ Baltimore Orioles
Thursday, 7:05 PM ET

The online sportsbook numbers that former Orioles’ starter Jeremy Guthrie has put up in Baltimore this season have been nothing short of impressive, as he is 4-0 with a 2.40 ERA. Guthrie has been outstanding over his last two starts in particular, shutting out the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox over 15.2 innings of work in consecutive wins. Guthrie will get the nod in the rubber match of this series opposite Miguel Gonzalez, and he should give Kansas City a decided edge in this game. Gonzalez has been tagged for three runs or more in consecutive starts and the Orioles have lost both of those games, so as long as Guthrie can keep it up against the Royals’ offense the edge in this series will go to a Royals’ team that continues to impress.

MLB Betting Pick: Kansas City Royals - 120

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