Wednesday MLB Daytime Betting Preview – Royals at Nationals

The Nationals seek a three-game interleague sweep of the lowly Royals with their rookie phenom on the mound.

Kansas City Royals at Washington Nationals

Kansas City dropped its fifth game in a row on Tuesday night, falling 5-4 to the Washington Nationals in the nation’s capitol.  The current losing streak is the club’s longest under current manager Ned Yost.  The Royals are now 5-9 during interleague play this year, but are still 46-40 over the last five seasons against the National League.  OF Jose Guillen has been the lone bright spot during the team’s recent struggles, compiling a career-long 17-game hitting streak.  Being a big-sized road underdog of +225 to +250 is nothing new to the small town Royals, as the lines maker has placed them in this role for the fourth time already this season (2-1, +380).

Royals SP Brian Bannister is 6-5 with a 5.70 ERA in 14 starts this season (+240).  The right-hander has posted an awful 1-4 mark and 8.57 ERA in seven road starts (-80), surrendering eight home runs and walking 17 batters in just 34.2 innings of work.  Kansas City has dropped his last two starts away from Kaufmann Stadium by a 17-9 margin, as he’s allowed 14 earned runs and 17 hits over just seven frames.  Bannister does have one thing going for him in this outing, producing a 3-0 record and 2.81 ERA in five daytime starts.  He’s flourished under the sun during his entire career, going 20-8 with a 4.06 ERA in 37 appearances (16-35, 5.36 ERA at night).

Washington has now won two straight since snapping a season-long six-game losing streak.  The Nationals are still just 5-9 (-520) against the American League this season and 20-30 (-600) over the last three years.  Washington has enjoyed decent success when playing the Junior Circuit at home, posting a 29-24 all-time mark, including 12-14 at Nationals Park.  If the Nationals’ go off as a home favorite of -225 to -250, it will mark the first time this season and just the sixth such occasion since 1997 (-160).  The bullpen has enjoyed dramatic improvement in 2010, after ranking last in MLB with a 5.04 last year.  The Nationals’ improvement of -1.59 ERA leads the league (3.45 ERA this season).

Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg has tallied a perfect 2-0 record and 1.86 ERA in his first three professional starts (+20) since being called up on June 8th.  The right-hander has dominated hitters with four quality pitches, fanning 32 batters and walking just five in 19.1 innings of work.  Washington’s offense provided 14 runs of support in his first two starts, resulting in victories, but failed to produce just a single run in a 2-1 home loss to the Chicago White Sox last time out.  He was troubled by control problems in his only daytime start two starts back, issuing all five of his walks this season in 5.1 innings.  Strasburg has surrendered just two home runs this season, both coming against left-handed hitters.

Bettors would be foolish in running to the windows in playing the Nationals blindly, as Bannister is a dangerous daytime underdog.  The total may offer the best value, as the Royals are 2-10 O/U the last three years as a road underdog of this kind.  The total is also 11-22-3 O/U in Nationals’ home games this year.

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