Billy J’s Thursday MLB Pick – Kansas City Royals @ New York Yankees

San Diego Padres @ Detroit Tigers

Our in-house MLB expert, Billy J (+0.33 units), gives his best bet for today!

Sometimes in sports the weirdest things can happen. The strangest things can occur, and you will always remember where you are. Whether you were at home watching on television or in person at the game. OK enough with the dramatics here on my end. Late last night the Yankees acquired the Royals Andrew Benintendi in exchange for several minor league players. Benintendi will join the Yankees back in the Bronx for the teams first home series since the All-Star break. Their opponent, none other than his former employer in the Kansas City Royals. These two teams face each other twice a year every year. Just so happens to be when the Royals trade their most consistent hitter on their team that the two teams just happen to square off the next day.

Benintendi will join the Yankees in the hopes of adding another steady left-handed bat in the lineup as well as defensive outfield depth. It is well documented the struggles of power slugger Joey Gallo and as the Yankees start fine tuning their roster for October, Benintendi joining this already elite lineup can make it even more scary.

What Benintendi immediately brings to the table is his .320 batting average which is fifth in the majors. He’s not going to overwhelm you with power as he just has three home runs this season, but if he is the table setter for the big boppers in the lineup then opposing teams will have more difficulty with the depth of this now Yankees lineup. Benintendi is also tied for seventh in the majors in hits with 111 and ninth in the majors with a .387 on-base percentage.

To have the potential lineup in any first inning go in order of DJ LeMahieu, Benintendi, Aaron Judge, and then the possibility of still facing Giancarlo Stanton and Anthony Rizzo is just downright daunting. As we look at today’s MLB schedule, there are several teams with an off day. There’s also plenty of money line chalk out there, including the Yankees at -235. Coming off a two-game sweep from their cross-town interleague rivals in the New York Mets, the Yankees will look to get things back in order. To lose the first game of the series in a four-game home set against the Royals is not what Yankees fans are envisioning.

When we look to bet any Yankees home game, the first thought is adding the Yankees money line into a parlay. I won’t do that here as I think there is good value out there for other plays. With Benintendi expected to make his debut today and the Yankees playing in front of their home crowd where they are 37-12 this season, I like the Yankees to jump the Royals early in this one.

A play I like here is the Yankees to be the first team to score in the game. The Yankees have Jameson Taillon (10-2, 3.93 ERA) on the mound today and he is just nails at home with a 6-1 record, 3.49 ERA and 8.3:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Taillon will be tasked to shut down this Benintendi-less Royals lineup who was shutout in back-to-back games at home versus the Los Angeles Angels. This lineup could go down in quick order in the first inning, which will lead Royals starter Brady Singer (4-3, 3.82 ERA) to face this juggernaut Yankees top of the lineup.

The Pick: Yankees -120 prop – To score the first run on Caesars SportsBook for 2 units

Leave a comment