Houston Astros vs Kansas City Royals: Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Aug. 16, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO
Where to watch: AT&T SportsNet-SW, Bally Sports Kansas City

Season-to-date
Astros: 70-47 (1st place, AL West)
Royals: 49-67 (Last place, AL Central)

Recent form 
Astros: Won four of five
Royals: Lost four straight

Projected lineup


Astros:
Jose Altuve (R) 2B
Michael Brantley (L) LF
Carlos Correa (R) SS
Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
Aledmys Diaz (R) 3B
Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
Chas McCormick (R) CF
Jason Castro (L) C
Jake Meyers (R) RF

Royals:
Whit Merrifield (R) 2B
Carlos Santana (S) 1B
Salvador Perez (R) DH
Andrew Benintendi (L) LF
Michael A. Taylor (R) CF
Hunter Dozier (R) RF
Emmanuel Rivera (R) 3B
Nicky Lopez (L) SS
Cam Gallagher (R) C

Projected starting pitchers: Jake Odorizzi (HOU) vs. Carlos Hernandez (KC)

Odds at USA Sportsbooks

DraftKings: Astros -190, Royals +160; Over 9 -105, Under 9 -115
BetMGM: Astros -160, Royals +135
PointsBet: Astros -170, Royals +145

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Astros - Royals preview


The Houston Astros will try to maintain their grip on the American League West when they face the Kansas City Royals in the first game of a four-game road set against the Kansas City Royals starting Monday.

It’s become a tight race between the first-place Astros and the Oakland Athletics. Despite winning four in a row entering Sunday, Houston’s lead on the A’s sits at 2.5 games.

The Astros are coming off a series victory against the Los Angeles Angels. Houston took the first two of the three-game series with an 8-2 victory on Saturday and a 4-1 win on Friday night.

Houston settled in after starting pitcher Luis Garcia allowed two runs in the first inning, including Shohei Ohtani’s 39th home run of the season. His ERA is resting comfortably at 3.30 while improving to 9-6 on the season in the matchup.

Despite that series win, the Astros lost to the Angels 3-1 at Angel Stadium in the series finale Sunday.

There was concern brewing for the Astros after losing three of four to the Minnesota Twins a week ago, but they got back on track with a two-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies (5-1 victory on Wednesday), followed by winning the first two against the Angels. So far so good on this seven-game trek of road games. Houston will finally return to Minute Maid Park following their meetings with the Royals.

We’re not on a collision course for a rematch of the American League Division Series between these two clubs. While the Astros remain competitive with a bulk of their core teams that were in the World Series, the Royals are in rebuild mode looking up at the likes of the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians in the pitiful American League Central. Meanwhile, the Chicago White Sox say hello from the top of the mountain.

Kansas City lost the first two of a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals in the Battle for Missouri, losing 9-4 on Saturday to up their losing streak to three games entering Sunday. The Royals’ last win came Tuesday night against the New York Yankees, but they ultimately lost two of three in the series.

As Lorde once said, we’ll never be Royals because we’ll never be winners. Something like that.

Betting trends


The under has been kind to the Astros, going 4-0 in their last four series openers. However, the over has gone 11-5-2 in the last 18 meetings. Houston has also won seven straight in Kansas City. The under is also 7-1 in Kansas City’s last eight series openers.

It’s also been a rough go for the Royals against the AL West, going 17-53 in their last 70 games against that division. Simply put, the Royals odds aren’t in favor against a team that seems to be clicking at the right time. Will they meet the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series again? Likely not, but the Astros are proving to be a tough out while having to avoid Oakland, as well as the Seattle Mariners.

Prediction


If this was back in June, it might be a more formidable matchup. The Royals just don’t have enough in the tank to compete at this late of a time as they used to. So long as the Astros continue to handle their inferior opponents, they’ll be ready come playoff time. Not sure if a sweep is in the works, but at least for this first game, it goes to Houston. Houston wins, under cashes.

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