Mariners vs. Royals MLB Best Bet: Aces to Quiet Bats in Kansas City

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Bobby Witt Jr. #7 of the Kansas City Royals hits an RBI triple in the ninth inning against the Seattle Mariners. Ed Zurga/Getty Images/AFP

MLB Pick: Under 7.5 (-105) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 7.5 (-105)
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We have a full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups Sunday including a game in London. And after going 6-3 in our last nine plays, we return with three plays that we feel hold great betting value at the current MLB odds.

These plays are based mostly on our proprietary model. One of the best bets for Sunday comes at 2:10 pm ET in Kansas City, where our model favors a total when the Mariners visit the Royals.

For more of today’s analysis, check out:

Seattle Mariners vs. Kansas City Royals

Sunday, June 09, 2024 – 02:10 PM ET at Kauffman Stadium

This is a battle of two aces, and we think that will be reflected by an Under when Cole Ragans and the Royals host George Kirby and the Mariners.

Quickly Became Ace

Ragans had a cup of coffee in the Major Leagues in 2022 making nine nondescript starts for the Texas Rangers, but he looked like a new man when called up by the Royals last season. In fact, he was the best pitcher on a bad team after his recall, finishing at 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA and 3.71 xFIP in 12 starts.

Now, Kansas City is much improved, and Cole is their undisputed ace. The 26-year-old is a deceiving 4-4, as he has a 3.21 ERA and a 3.02 xFIP that ranks ninth best in baseball. He has raised his strikeout rate to a sparkling 10.97/9 from a already excellent 10.59/9 last year. And while his walk rate is mediocre at 2.96/9, that is still an improvement from the 3.84 last season.

No Walking Allowed

Speaking of deceptive, the same can be said for Kirby with his 5-5 record and 4.05 ERA. However, his xFIP tells the true story of his ability at 3.24, which ranks 17th in the majors. So, it should only be a matter of time before he positively regresses toward his career 3.49 ERA over 394 innings in the big leagues.

George still has his typically great K/BB ratio of 9.08/0.86 per nine innings, with that walk rate easily being the best in baseball. In fact, he is the only qualifying pitcher with a walk rate below 1.00, as Jack Flaherty is second at 1.24. Then again, that is nothing new for Kirby as he has a great career walk rate of 1.10/9.

Do not expect many if any walks today either as he is facing an aggressive Royals’ lineup ranked 25th in offensive walk percentage at just 7.7%.

This is a matchup of two true aces that both deserve better than their .500 records. We expect that to bear out today, so bet the Under in Kansas City on Sunday.

Predicted Score: Mariners 3 – Royals 2

MLB Pick: Under 7.5 (-105) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)

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Under 7.5 (-105)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.