Aug. 31 MLB Preview — Baltimore Orioles (45-89) at Kansas City (47-89)

(Jorge Soler photo courtesy Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports)

This is the full preview(s) as seen on the Winners and Whiners and Stat Salt websites. The confidence rating for all picks on a scale from 1 to 5 is in parentheses.

Note: The 5/5 does NOT represent the best overall pick of the day’s games when there are multiple games, simply the best pick(s) from each individual game.

When and Where: Saturday, Aug. 31, Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, Mo., 7:15 p.m. EDT.

Dylan Bundy looks to avoid becoming the third 14-game loser in the majors Saturday night when the Baltimore Orioles continue their series against the Kansas City Royals.

Bundy looking for back-to-back winning starts for first time in over a year

As Bundy (6-13, 4.98 ERA) looks to avoid joining Kansas City’s Brad Keller and Houston’s Aaron Sanchez as the lone 14-game losers in the majors, he has at least done a better job keeping the ball in the park with only one gopher ball served up in his last four starts.

The right-hander is seeking back-to-back wins for the first time since June 17-23, 2018, and his first back-to-back wins over American League opponents since a three-game run from Aug. 1-12, 2017.

Bundy was just effective enough Sunday against Tampa Bay, giving up three runs and eight hits in five innings to help the Orioles defeat the Rays 8-3. He is also looking for a second straight solid start against the Royals this month after holding them to one run in seven innings before Baltimore rallied for a 4-1 victory Aug. 20.

The righty is 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA in five career starts versus Kansas City, including no record in two starts at Kauffman Stadium while giving up five runs and 11 1-3 innings.

Lopez looks to beat Orioles for second time in 12 days

Jorge Lopez (2-7, 6.56) ended a winless drought of more than two months when he beat Baltimore on Aug. 19, limiting the Orioles to one run in five innings of Kansas City’s 5-4 road victory.

“He just threw the ball extremely well, and I was pleased. You know, he’s had a rough go here lately,” Royals manager Ned Yost told the club’s official website. “I was real pleased to see him pitch so effectively and pitch so well.”

Yost has used the right-hander out of the bullpen in his last two outings, getting a save versus Cleveland on Sunday with a scoreless ninth before getting drilled for five runs in 1 2-3 innings of a 19-4 thrashing by Oakland the following day.

Lopez also beat the Orioles in his other career start against them last year, holding them to a solo homer and four other hits in seven innings of a 9-1 victory Sept. 2.

Notable Trends

The Royals are:

  • 3-14 in their last 17 Saturday games.
  • 2-11 in Lopez’s last 13 starts.
  • 7-24 in their last 31 during game 2 of a series.

The Orioles are:

  • 4-1 in their last five games vs. starters with a plus-1.30 WHIP.
  • 4-1 in their last five games vs. sub-.400 teams.

*****5-Star Pick*****

Orioles -0.5 runs first 5 innings (Even)

Another confidence pick in Bundy, but the Orioles are also playing well in the early part of games recently and have led after five innings in six of their last eight contests. Baltimore is also 4-3 at the midway point in Bundy’s last seven starts and should be able to extend Kansas City’s struggles in this area — the Royals have trailed in their last five and nine of 11 overall.

****4-Star Pick****

Orioles ML (-131)

The hedge is Bundy takes advantage of Kansas City’s pitcher-friendly stadium to keep the ball in the park again and have a second straight solid outing versus the Royals. Despite the solid outing in beating the Orioles earlier this month, Yost’s shuttling of Lopez to and from the bullpen may play against the right-hander, especially with Kansas City trying to find length from its starters.

***3-Star Picks***

UNDER 9.5 runs (-121)

The under has been solidly trending with Bundy in multiple areas, most notably riding a seven-game run against AL Central opponents. The under is also 6-1 in his last seven starts versus sub-.500 teams, 4-1-1 in his last six on the road, and 4-1 in Bundy’s last five matchups with the Royals.

Saturday has been a good day to ride the under with the Royals, going 9-3-1 in the last 13 such contests. The under is also 7-0 in Kansas City’s last seven during game two of a series.

This line has ticked down to nine runs closer to first pitch, so hopefully you grabbed the hook to help the cause.

Royals UNDER 4 runs (-105)

An anti-Royals pick more than a confidence pick in Bundy considering Kansas City has been held to four or fewer runs in 11 of its last 16 games after Friday’s blowout loss. The Orioles, though, also have kept teams to four runs or less in four of Bundy’s last five starts.

UNDER 5.5 runs first 5 innings (-140)

The five-flat felt like too much of a toss-up, so the alternate line via is the play, with the hedge that Bundy and Lopez’s respective success facing the Royals and Orioles earlier this month carries over to this start while using the hook.

Orioles OVER 1 run first 3 innings (-145)

A momentum pick from Friday night’s victory in which the O’s put up six in the first three innings. Baltimore has scored two or more runs in the first three frames in six of its last eight games and did scratch out a run against Lopez in that span earlier this month. The Royals have also given up two or more runs in the first three innings in eight of their last nine contests.

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