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Red Sox Begin Series Against Slumping Royals

Red Sox Against Kansas Royals

The Boston Red Sox go for a fourth straight win when they take on the Kansas City Royals in the first of a three-game series Friday night. The series opener is scheduled for an 8:10 p.m. ET first pitch at Kauffman Stadium.

The Red Sox swept the Atlanta Braves in a two-game series, giving them three wins in a row. Boston is in second place in the AL East, a half-game behind the first-place Tampa Bay Rays and 5½ games ahead of the third-place New York Yankees.

Rafael Devers of the Boston Red Sox bits his bat after striking out in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels
Kathryn Riley/Getty Images/AFP

The Royals are on a six-game losing streak to fall to 30-37. Kansas City is in third place in the AL Central, 8½ games behind the second-place Cleveland Indians and two games ahead of the fourth-place Detroit Tigers.

The MLB odds have the Red Sox with a moneyline of -118, while the Royals are listed at +111. The over/under for this contest has been set at 9½ runs.

On A Roll

The Red Sox finally got a day off on Thursday after playing 17 consecutive days, including 16 games against playoff teams from a season ago. Boston went 10-7 during the stretch and closed to within a game of Tampa Bay, which lost on Thursday to pare its AL East lead to a half-game. The Red Sox hung on for a 10-8 win over Atlanta on Wednesday to close out the string.

“It wasn’t a perfect game, but we’ll take it again,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora after Wednesday’s win. “Reset tomorrow. We ended a tough stretch; we grinded through it. We had a positive record, 10-7, so for how ugly it looked, I know a lot of teams will take 10-7 in a 17-stretch against teams that made it to the playoffs last year.”

Right-hander Nick Pivetta will be on the mound, bringing a 6-2 record and 4.28 ERA. Pivetta has 80 strikeouts and 33 walks over 69⅓ innings in 13 starts.

Pivetta had a rough outing in his last start, going five innings against Toronto on Saturday. The 28-year-old allowed six runs on six hits, including four home runs, while striking out six and walking two. Pivetta had allowed five home runs in his first 12 starts combined.

Third baseman Rafael Devers has been hot of late, tying for eighth with 16 home runs and ranking second with 55 RBI. Devers is 8-for-20 with a double, a triple, a home run, and seven RBI over his last five games.

Shortstop Xander Bogaerts has also been a hot hitter, ranking fifth in the majors with a .325 batting average. Bogaerts has 13 home runs and 41 RBI, which are the same numbers that outfielder J.D. Martinez has put up this season as well. Martinez is hitting .309.

Another Slump

The Royals started this season 16-9 before going on an 11-game losing streak. They then went 13-6 before their current skid, which has seen them drop 11 of 12.

Kansas City still hadn’t announced a starter for Friday night as of this writing. Jackson Kowar took this turn in the rotation the last time it came around, but he gave up four runs in 1⅓ innings, so he might not be the answer for manager Mike Matheny.

The Royals could use someone to step in and give a quality start. Kansas City ranks 23rd with a team ERA of 4.69, with Royals pitchers ranking 15th with 599 strikeouts.

Offensively, catcher Salvador Perez has been the most consistent hitter for Kansas City, batting .287 with 17 home runs and 45 RBI. Perez is 9-for-23 with a double, three home runs, and five RBI over his last six games.

Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi returned to the lineup Wednesday, hitting a home run in his first at-bat since May 31. Mondesi had hit two home runs in three games when he suffered a hamstring strain that landed him on the injured list. He has three doubles, three home runs, and six RBI in just eight games this season after he missed the first 45 contests with a right oblique strain.

Series Outlook

It doesn’t seem to matter who the Royals face on the mound lately, but they won’t catch any breaks going against Red Sox starters Pivetta, Martin Perez, and Nathan Eovaldi in this series. Eovaldi will get the start on Sunday, going for his eighth win of the season.

Boston’s offense has been cooking of late as well, which isn’t good news for the Royals, who have allowed 6.8 runs per game over their current losing streak. The Red Sox hitters should feast in this series.

The series prices for this three-game set have the Red Sox at -165, while the Royals are listed at +135.

Red Sox Take Opener

Kansas City is reeling and unsure of who will be pitching for it on Friday night. The return of Mondesi will help the offense, but the Royals just can’t match up with the Red Sox’s lineup.

When doing your MLB betting, take Boston to get the win on the road.

Pick: Boston Red Sox -118

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