MLB Baseball: Kansas City Royals vs. Houston Astros Preview, Prediction & Odds -- 8/24/21

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 8:10 p.m. ET
Venue: Minute Maid Park, Houston, TX
Where to watch: Bally Sports Kansas City, AT&T SportsNet-SW

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Astros -240, Royals +195
BetMGM: Astros -225, Royals +180
PointsBet: Astros -245, Royals +195

Season record (entering Monday)
Royals: 55-68 (4th place, AL Central)
Astros: 73-51 (1st place, AL West)

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Royals - Astros preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Monday)
Royals: 6-4 in last 10
Astros: 5-5 in last 10

The Houston Astros and Kansas City Royals will continue their three-game series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Tuesday.

We’ve reached that weird part in baseball season where you should almost expect all the favorites to trounce the underdogs. We’ll have those rare occasions of a wild underdog being that one-off cash winner.

Other times the favorites should just run with this to get into playoff form. The same goes for the Astros as they play the second game of this series against Kansas City in a once-established playoff rematch.

But it wasn’t that long ago when the Royals took three out of four in a four-game series against these same Astros, this one at Kauffman Stadium. The Royals enter Monday having won six of seven and while they may not be fighting for a playoff spot, it’s a squad playing for pride the rest of this season. Kansas City defeated the Chicago Cubs 9-1 on Sunday in Wrigley Field to complete the three-game set.

The Royals are still way off from reaching the Chicago White Sox in first place of the American League Central, and not even close to reaching the World Series level they were at just six years ago

At the time of publishing, Game 1 from Monday night has not yet concluded.

The Astros are coming off winning two of three against the Seattle Mariners; the two wins saw them combine for 27 runs, before losing 6-3 in the series finale on Sunday.

Houston was able to gain a game in the American League West standings thanks to the Oakland Athletics losing two of three to the San Francisco Giants.

Luis Garcia is expected to take the mound for the Astros, while Brady Singer is on the bump for the Astros 

Offensive analysis


You’re not going to find many teams that are as well-rounded as the Astros. They’re the top batting team in the league (they have a former batting champion, for crying out loud) while also hitting the eighth most homers and have driven in the most RBI in the league (646). It’s a sound offense as it has been every year. The Royals are low on home runs (124) but are a top-12 batting team (.244) this season.

Defensive analysis


Back to the well-rounded aspect of the Astros: They also have the fourth-lowest ERA in the majors at 3.62; quite the dropoff from 3 where the Milwaukee Brewers reside, but it’s why they’re such a tough out. That’s the area the Royals need to improve on (4.80 ERA is 26th in the league) if they want to succeed in this August matchup down the road.

Prediction

Astros 6-2

Betting trends


The under is 42-34 when the Royals are underdogs.

Projected lineup


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

Astros:
Jose Altuve (R) 2B
Michael Brantley (L) RF
Yuli Gurriel (R) 1B
Yordan Alvarez (L) DH
Carlos Correa (R) SS
Aledmys Diaz (R) 3B
Jake Meyers (R) CF
Taylor Jones (R) LF
Martin Maldonado (R) C

Probable starting pitchers: Brady Singer (KC) vs. Luis Garcia (HOU)

Statistical leaders


Royals:
Batting average: Nicky Lopez (.282)
Hits: Whit Merrifield (137)
Home runs: Salvador Perez (32)
RBI: Salvador Perez (80)
Stolen bases: Whit Merrifield (37)
Wins: Mike Minor (8)
Saves: Scott Barlow (8)
ERA: Mike Minor (5.34)

Astros:
Batting average: Michael Brantley (.319)
Hits: Jose Altuve (129)
Home runs: Jose Altuve (25)
RBI: Yordan Alvarez (85)
Stolen bases: Myles Straw (17)
Wins: Zack Greinke (11)
Saves: Ryan Pressly (19)
ERA: Zack Greinke (3.43)

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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