The Kansas City Royals (37-79) and Boston Red Sox (59-55) will wrap up their four-game midweek series this evening. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. ET at Fenway Park in Boston. Rookie lefty Austin Cox (0-1, 3.58 ERA) will serve as the Royals’ opener tonight while James Paxton (6-3, 3.60 ERA) will step on the hill for the Sox.
Boston has taken two out of three games in this series so far and have climbed out of last place in the AL East for the moment. A two-RBI double by Alex Verdugo in the fourth inning of last night’s contest was enough to lift the Sox past the Royals for an eventual 4-3 victory. Meanwhile, Kansas City is trying to avoid its fifth loss in six games and have come crashing back down to earth after going on a seven-game winning streak.
The Red Sox enter the game as -250 favorites on the moneyline over at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Royals are +205 underdogs. The run total is set at 10.5.
Royals-Red Sox picks: Thursday, August 10
Out: SP Zack Greinke (elbow), SP Brad Keller (shoulder), SP Daniel Lynch IV (shoulder), RP Taylor Clarke (elbow), RP Josh Staumont (neck), RP Josh Taylor (back), 1B Nick Pratto (groin)
Day-To-Day: DH Justin Turner (heel)
Out: SP Garrett Whitlock (elbow), SP Chris Sale (shoulder), SP Tanner Houck (face), SP Corey Kluber (shoulder),RP Joely Rodriguez (hip), SS Adalberto Mondesi (knee), RP Kaleb Ort (elbow)
Austin Cox vs. James Paxton
Cox has been a reliable arm out of K.C.’s bullpen over the past few weeks, recording two holds and a save in his last three outings. Tonight, the rookie will get his first start since July 3, where he went 4.2 innings against the Twins. Cox has given up 11 hits and seven earned runs through 8.1 combined innings in his two starts this season, so he will try for a better performance in his limited time on the mound this evening.
Paxton is coming off a subpar outing last Friday, taking the loss in his start against the Blue Jays. Through five full innings, he was tagged with four earned runs off nine hits and two walks in the eventual 7-3 setback for the Sox. While his splits against most opposing batters have been good, No. 9 hitters have been an Achilles heel for him. No. 9’s are hitting .318 off him and he needs to find a way to put them away or else risk the top of the order doing damage.
Both pitching staffs have been subpar over the past week and that can explain why the run total for tonight’s matchup is high. Both staffs have posted a collective ERA of at least 6.00 over their past six games and have given up at least 35 runs in that span. However, Paxton has consistently bounced back from poor performances this year and a good outing from him this evening should have a huge impact on the run total for this one. Take the under.
Pick: Under 10.5
I trust the Red Sox at home here vs. a Royals team that will most likely be turning towards its bullpen early. Despite its struggles at the plate over the past week, Boston has done just enough to grab control of this series against K.C. and should be able to do enough to close it out with another win tonight.
Pick: Red Sox