Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays: Odds, Prediction

Payton Matthews | Updated Jul 14, 2022

After firing manager Charlie Montoyo, can the Toronto Blue Jays start to gain some separation in the wild-card race when they open a four-game home set against the Kansas City Royals on Thursday?

Kansas City
65-97
AT
July 14, 2022, 7:07 PM ET
Rogers Centre
Toronto
92-70
Runline +1.5 +170
Moneyline +338
Over / Under o +8.5

14%

Betting Action

86%

Runline -1.5 -204
Moneyline -416
Over / Under u +8.5

14%

Betting Action

86%

In its final series before the All-Star break, Toronto hosts rebuilding and short-handed Kansas City in a four-game set that is very sweepable for the Jays to enter the second half with momentum. Toronto is a heavy favourite on the MLB odds to win Thursday’s opener.

Betting Analysis

This series could be the last in a Royals uniform for a few players because no question that Kansas City will be a seller ahead of the Aug. 2 trade deadline. One name often mentioned is talented outfielder Andrew Benintendi because he will be a free agent after the season. The Blue Jays reportedly are in on him but might be outbid by the Yankees, who really need help in the outfield. A few Royals relievers also figure to be traded.

The Jays and Royals are done playing each other after this weekend. Toronto won two of three in Kansas City from June 6-8. Bo Bichette was 5-for-11 in the series with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored. Santiago Espinal was 6-for-14 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was just 1-for-12 but that hit was a homer. The Royals didn’t homer in the first series, were blanked twice and hit just .221.

Toronto hasn’t lost a home series to Kansas City since 2017 and won all three at Rogers Centre last year.

Kansas City Royals

Two of Kansas City’s best players, catcher Salvador Perez and second baseman Whit Merrifield, are on the injured list. The speedy Merrifield had played in a franchise-record 553 consecutive games before sitting this week. That was the longest active streak in the majors. And a whopping 10 players will not make the trip because they aren’t vaccinated for COVID, Merrifield one of them. The others: Benintendi (the team’s lone All-Star), catcher MJ Melendez, first baseman/outfielder Hunter Dozier, right-hander Brad Keller, right-hander Brady Singer, centre fielder Michael A. Taylor, outfielder Kyle Isbel, reliever Dylan Coleman and catcher Cam Gallagher. Prior to Kansas City, the most players a team had missed in Toronto was four.

Jackson Kowar (0-0, 10.13 ERA) is expected to start on the mound. The 25-year-old has a 0-6 record and 10.92 ERA in 43.2 career big-league innings. It probably will be a bullpen-type game for Kansas City.

Toronto Blue Jays

The big news Wednesday was the Jays somewhat surprisingly firing manager Charlie Montoyo and promoting bench coach John Schneider to interim manager for the remainder of the season. It was the first in-season firing for the team since dumping John Gibbons in 2008 and replacing him with Cito Gaston. Toronto did play much better under Gaston but missed the playoffs. Interesting timing on Montoyo as waiting until the All-Star break perhaps would have been less disruptive to the team on the field. The Jays responded Wednesday to the move with an impressive 8-2 win over the Phillies and 2021 NL Cy Young runner-up Zack Wheeler.

Kevin Gausman (6-6, 2.86 ERA) is set to return from an ankle injury tonight for Toronto. He hasn’t pitched since leaving his July 2 outing vs. the Rays after a come-backer to that ankle. Gausman didn’t see the Royals in the first series.

MLB Prediction: Who Will Win Royals vs. Blue Jays?

SportsInteraction