Kansas City Royals vs LA Angels: Preview & Prediction

Mike Trout and Albert Pujols of the LA Angels on the field.
Shohei Otani is all the rage, but don't forget the Angels also have Albert Pujols (R) and the best baseball player in the world, Mike Trout (L). Photo by Keith Allison (flickr) [CC License].

This season could not be going more differently for the Los Angeles Angels and Kansas City Royals. The Angels brought in the most hyped international free agent in history, and both he and the team are exceeding even the most optimistic expectations. The Royals, on the other hand, parted ways with two of the faces of their franchise — Eric Hosmer and Dee Gordon — and now can hardly score a run.

The Angels look for their seventh straight win tonight (7:15 PM ET, April 14) behind the arm of Garrett Richards, while KC turns to the surprisingly effective arm of Jakob Junis to stem their losing streak at four.

The opening odds, key stats, betting trends, weather forecast, and score prediction are below.

Opening Odds

ANGELS (-163) ANGELS -1.5 (-106) OVER 8.0 (-115)
ROYALS (+153) ROYALS +1.5 (-114) UNDER 8.0 (-105)

Jakob Junis has been spotless through his first two starts this year, surrendering zero runs in 14 innings of work against Detroit and Seattle. His starts account for two-thirds of KC’s wins so far.

The oft-injured Richards has been mediocre at best. He’s worked just 15 innings over three starts, and given up 12 hits, 12 walks, and seven earned runs. The Angels are still 2-1 in those games, though, thanks to the league-leading offense scoring a combined 26 runs.

Team Stats

3-9 (162 Home) RECORD 12-3 (8-1 Away)
-18 (25th) RUN DIFFERENTIAL +46 (1st)
Jakob Junis: 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.50 WHIP  PROBABLE STARTER Garrett Richards: 2-0, 2.25 ERA,
 .268 BA, .647 OPS (in 56 at-bats) LINEUP VS OPPONENT STARTER .429 BA, 1.277 OPS (in 22 at-bats)
6.95 (28th in MLB) BULLPEN ERA 2.48 ERA (7th in MLB)
.615 (27th in MLB) TEAM OPS .828 (2nd in MLB)
5-0 (3-0 Home)  2017 HEAD-TO-HEAD 0-5 (0-3 Away)

Betting Results & Trends

1-4 LAST 5 5-0
 Under 3 OVER/UNDER STREAK Under 3

The Angels rallied from a 4-2 deficit with three runs in the final three innings last night in the series opener. Ohtani went 2-4 with a run, but it was Albert Pujols (2-5, 3 RBI) who really powered the offense.

Weather Forecast at Opening Pitch

WIND SPEED NW 13 MPH (out/cross-wind to right field)
P.O.P. 31%

Score Prediction


Which small sample size do you believe in more? LA’s 1.277 OBP against Junis in 22 at-bats, or Junis’ 0.00 ERA and 0.50 WHIP in his two 2018 starts?

You probably shouldn’t buy fully into either. The truth lies somewhere in the middle. But given that Junis had an ERA in the mid-fours (4.30) and just 80 Ks in 98.0 innings last year (his rookie season), the safer bet is to roll with the Angels. Not because Ohtani is guaranteed to keep mashing — since he’s pitching tomorrow, he won’t even play today — but because Mike Trout is a beast, Albert Pujols looks to have turned back the clock, and Garrett Richards is as much of an ace as they have.

It’s worth noting that Junis’ two starts came against the Tigers and Mariners, who have scored 100 runs combined this season. The Angels have score 98 on their own.

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Sascha was a hockey player in his youth. He gave that up to do something much more practical: become a lawyer. He gave that up to do something much more enjoyable: write about sports. SBD's lead odds-maker/number cruncher since 2014, Sascha writes and edits about anything and everything you can possibly put odds on. He's happiest when those things are baseball, hockey, football, and basketball, though. In his spare time, Sascha likes watching Jeopardy with his wife, building train sets with his son, and pretending he's still an athlete, not necessarily in that order.