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Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees prediction and best bet by handicapper Ben Rajavuori for Friday night's game at Kauffman Stadium. Will the Yankees bats stay hot today?

Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees Prediction: Can We Count on Nasty Nestor Cortes and the Yankees?

The New York Yankees will hit the road tonight after a sweep of the Orioles to take on the Kansas City Royals, who are coming off a 2-1 series win over the White Sox. The last time these two met was in August last year when the Yankees took two games in the three-game series on the road. The Yankees won the series opener in that three-game set. Can they do it again?

Royals vs. Yankees Start Time and Where to Watch

  • Date: April 29, 2022
  • Game Time: 8:10 pm ET
  • Where to Watch: Apple TV+

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Royals vs. Yankees Line Movement Movement

Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees Prediction

The Yankees appear to be back in Yankee form after a rough start to the year. Perhaps the new players just needed a little time to settle into the team. Whatever it was, the Yankees look good right now. Two sweeps in the past two series and 42 runs over their last five games. Judge and Rizzo are putting the barrel to the ball as well, with 13 combined home runs after each had a relatively slow start to the year. Isiah Kiner-Falefa has also been heating up lately and is now one of the Yankee's best hitters with a .298 batting average.

Taking the mound for the Yankees tonight will be Nestor Cortes. Cortes looks like ace material and currently has the lowest ERA in the rotation. His stuff has looked absolutely dirty, and he's not getting lucky; he's just putting the ball exactly where he needs to on every pitch. His command has been just short of perfect. He has just three walks in 15.2 innings pitched and combined that with 25 strike-outs for an 8.33 K/BB rate. That is ridiculous. His only hiccup over 15.2 innings pitched has been one home run allowed to the Guardians, which accounts for both of his only two earned runs. Considering the Guardians are seventh overall in batting average as a team, 6.1 innings pitched with two earned runs is still a quality start (literally). Cortes also pitched 4.1 scoreless innings against arguably one of the scariest lineups in baseball this season, the Blue Jays. Basically, this guy is looking excellent right now.

Cortes' most significant change has been the increase of his cutter. He throws his cutter 39% of the time now and combines that with a scorching four-seamer to record his strikeouts. Cortes only used his cutter around 23% of the time last year. It's his best pitch, and it has tons of movement, so increasing his usage of it has worked wonders for him. Opponents are batting just .080 off it this season.

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The Royals have struggled to start the year but come off a series win over the White Sox thanks to their pitching, which held the Sox to five combined runs over three games. Guess who didn't pitch in any of those games? Kris Bubic.

This guy is struggling to say the absolute least. He had one decent start where he went 4.1 innings with one earned run against a banged-up Tigers lineup, but besides that, it's been rough. In his first start of the season, he didn't make it out of the first and went .2 innings with five earned runs against the Guardians. In his most recent outing, he went two innings with five earned runs against the Mariners. He has a 3.0 WHIP over the three starts, and command has been an issue. He's also a four-seam-heavy pitcher, but he only throws it 91 mph on average. He throws his fastball 57% of the time, and with such low velocity and the lack of a versatile pitching arsenal, the big-league bats haven't had trouble against him.

So we have a pitcher who throws almost 60% fastballs facing a team who is so notorious for home runs, they've been nicknamed "The Bronx Bombers" and are tied in second in the MLB with 25 home runs this year. This could be a nightmare for the Royals.

The Yankees are hot right now, and the lineup is filled with power hitters. This is a horrible matchup for Bubic, a four-seam-heavy pitcher who has already been struggling to start the year. On the other hand, Cortes has been looking like an early Cy Young candidate. His 8.33 K/BB rate and ERA speak for themselves. The Royals are also 29th in OPS against left-handed pitching, sitting just above the Diamondbacks. I think the Yankees get to Bubic early in this game, and Cortes has yet another solid outing. Take the Bronx Bombers to hit a few dingers and cover the first five-run line.

Kansas City Royals vs. New York Yankees Pick

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Article Author


Ben Rajavuori is a handicapper out of Minneapolis, MN. He has been creating sports content for almost four years now and is an expert in all things NFL, MLB, NBA, UFC, and NCAAB. Ben thrives on diving deep into statistics to find the best angle on every bet. You can follow him on Twitter @WeBeatTheSpread.


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