MLB Predictions 2012: New York Yankees vs. Kansas City Royals

The New York Yankees (14-13) and Kansas City Royals (9-17) will finish a four-game American League series on Sunday afternoon at Kaufmann Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 2:10 ET

New York Yankees at Kansas City Royals 

New York's high-priced offense hasn't been getting it done in Kansas City

New York has lost four of its last five games, as it looks to bounce back from a 5-1 setback on Saturday night.  “I think we all could be doing better,” stated Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez.  The Yankees’ big bats in the middle of the order managed to go 1-for-11 in the contest, including no hits in four at-bats with runners in scoring position.  One of the more feared lineups in baseball has managed to score just 13 runs over its last six games.  New York is 0-4 in its last four games as a favorite of -110 to -150.

Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes (1-4, 7.48 ERA) will be looking to snap a two-game losing streak, as he’s allowed eight runs and nine hits over 8.1 innings of work over that span.  The right-hander is 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in two road outings, with opposing hitters batting .313 against him.  In five career games (four starts) versus the Royals, Hughes has tallied a 2-1 mark and 6.75 ERA, serving up four home runs in 20 combined frames.

Kansas City jumped on New York early in scoring two first-inning runs, with the club winning six out of its last 10 games.  The Royals have been sparked offensively by Alex Gordon, who is hitting .444 over the last nine games, which could continue due to being 3 for 9 in his career against Hughes.  The bullpen is enjoying some success recently as well, posting a 1.85 ERA over its last 43.2 innings.  Kansas City is 2-8 in its last 10 games as a home underdog.

Royals starting pitcher Luke Hochevar (2-2, 7.36 ERA) was lit up in dropping a 9-3 road decision to the Detroit Tigers last time out, surrendering nine runs and 12 hits over four innings of work.  The right-hander is 0-1 with a 8.00 ERA in two home starts, but has not surrendered a single home run in 25.2 overall frames this year.  In three career appearances (two starts) versus the Yankees, Hochevar is 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA.

Bettors will likely back the Yankees due to their 49-24 record on Sundays, while the Royals are 6-15 versus AL East foes.

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