Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals Prediction and Pick

Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals predictions and picks for Thursday's game in Baltimore from MLB handicapper Matt Zylbert. Which side of the total is Matt on?
Matt Zylbert
Thu, September 9, 9:57 AM EDT

Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals Prediction and Pick

Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals

Over/Under: 9

First Pitch: 7:05 p.m. ET

Probable Pitchers: Carlos Hernandez (5-1, 3.57 ERA) vs. John Means (5-6, 3.47 ERA)

Baltimore Orioles vs. Kansas City Royals Prediction

Orioles vs Royals Odds

After returning in late July from a month-and-a-half stint on the injured list, Means churned out some rather erratic pitching.

It did not look like the same Means that made the All-Star team just two seasons ago or even the version last year that produced a desirable 0.98 WHIP and .220 batting average against while striking out nearly a batter per inning in his ten outings.

Fortunately, Means appears to be coming out of whatever funk he was in. Upon his return, the third-year southpaw would go on to yield at least four runs four times within his next six turns, so it’s pretty significant to see that Means has rebounded notably. Moreover, in his last three assignments, he’s held the opposition to three runs or fewer each time out, including amassing a pair of quality starts.

Though his record may not show it, Means is enjoying a very nice 2021, as illustrated by the career-best marks he’s posted an ERA (3.47) and BAA (.219). That 5.2 K/BB number ain’t too shabby, either, even ranking Means in the top 10 among all Major League starting pitchers if he logged enough innings this year to qualify.

Simply put, Means looks to be retaining his old steady form, and those types of showings are always welcomed for an under. But, speaking of steady, that’s what his rookie counterpart, Hernandez, is serving.

The 24-year-old debuted a year ago in unspectacular fashion, but he’s been anything but that in his second rodeo. Now a member of the Royals rotation, he’s producing his best work at the moment, honing a sweet 3.32 ERA as a starter. In addition, Hernandez limited the opposition to just two runs or fewer in six of his eight starts.

Like Means, Hernandez comes into tonight’s series finale on a roll, having allowed only four runs (three earned) across his last three outings combined.

Given his success in a previous meeting against the O’s earlier this season, anticipate more of the same from Hernandez that he’s shown as of late. Means doing the same thing, err, means perhaps a low-scoring output in this one.

Pick: UNDER 9 (-116)

Leans

Mets-Marlins Under 7.5
Rockies-Phillies Over 8

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “74-66-9,” +0.19 unit

Yesterday’s Result: Twins-Indians Under 9 (WIN)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Matt Zylbert
@MattZylbert
Zylbert has been writing about baseball over/under bets for nearly a decade, attaining notable success in just about each season. Throughout the last three years, the veteran gambling analyst has amassed a 307-239-25 (56.2%) record on regular season totals while always recommending to flat bet every game for one unit.
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