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MLB picks: White Sox vs. Royals, Astros vs. Padres

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

September 3rd, 2021

Let’s look at the best bets on the baseball board for Friday night!

We’ll lead off with a preview of the AL Central showdown between the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals. Then we’ll segue to an intriguing interleague battle between the Houston Astros and the San Diego Padres.

Chicago White Sox (78-56) at Kansas City Royals (59-74), 8:10 p.m. ET

Sat, September 4 2021, 12:10 AM

KC Royals

Moneyline

+102

Run Line

+1.5

Total

O 9

CHI White Sox

Moneyline

-120

Run Line

-1.5

Total

U 9

The Royals look like a solid wager as home underdogs against the White Sox on Friday night.

Dallas Keuchel will toe the rubber for Chicago, looking to put a dreadful month of August behind him. His ERA rose to 7.43 following a disastrous one-inning outing against the crosstown rival Cubs last Friday, in which he allowed five earned runs.

Keuchel has been beaten by K.C. on two occasions in 2021, and his ERA against them is 4.50 (12 innings). He’ll have to watch out for Whit Merrifield, who’s 7-for-23 (.307) all-time against him. The Royals’ second baseman is batting .323 over the last two weeks with two homers and 10 RBI.

Carlos Hernandez counters for K.C., looking to build on an excellent month of August in which he produced a 2.08 ERA. One of those five starts came against the White Sox, and he allowed only one run over five innings of work. Hernandez also faced the South Siders on July 29, blanking them over six frames.

The Royals are poised to win the bullpen battle too; their relief corps is fifth by ERA over the last two weeks (2.52), while the White Sox are tied for last over the same span (5.77).

MLB pick: Royals +102


Houston Astros (78-55) at San Diego Padres (71-63), 10:10 p.m. ET

Sat, September 4 2021, 2:10 AM

SD Padres

Moneyline

+114

Run Line

+1.5

Total

O 9

HOU Astros

Moneyline

-136

Run Line

-1.5

Total

U 9

A total this high is seldom seen at Petco Park, but Over bettors should not be dissuaded as Jose Urquidy and the Astros visit Jake Arrieta and the Padres.

Urquidy (6-3, 3.38 ERA) was rolling right along before suffering a shoulder injury on June 29 that cost him two full months. He’d pitched seven strong innings in three straight games prior to the ailment, but bettors should anticipate manager Dusty Baker having Urquidy on a much shorter leash on Friday. This means plenty of work for a Houston bullpen that’s tied for last in ERA over the last two weeks (5.77).

Look for third baseman Manny Machado – who owns a 1.028 OPS over the last seven days – to lead the way on offense for the Friars.

Arrieta (5-12, 7.13 ERA) appears to be over the hill, but San Diego is taking a flyer on the former Cy Young winner. He couldn’t have picked a much worse team to make his Padres debut against, as the Astros are second in runs per game this season (5.26). Third baseman Alex Bregman – hitting .381 over 21 at-bats since rejoining the roster – only adds to the embarrassment of riches for Houston.

The Padres’ bullpen – 25th by ERA over the last two weeks (5.12) – will likely add gasoline to the fire.

MLB pick: Over

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