If there’s such a thing as a home-field disadvantage, the Kansas City Royals are living it. They
have just four wins in 19 games at Kaufman Stadium, including consecutive losses to Baltimore the last two days. Now Kansas City welcomes the Diamondbacks, whose struggling offense busted out in Thursday’s 9-7 come-from-behind victory in Colorado. True, Arizona is still just 3-9 in its last 12 games and hasn’t put together a two-game winning streak all month. However, last year the DBacks went to Kansas City and swept a three-game interleague series, part of a five-game winning streak against the Royals (all in K.C.).
Tonight’s mound matchup pits Arizona lefty Joe Saunders (2-3, 3.43 ERA) against Royals right-hander Luis Mendoza (2-2, 4.76). Although Saunders got bombed in his last two starts (allowing 13 runs, 12 earned, in 8 1/3 innings in home losses to the Giants and Cardinals), he’s been outstanding on the road this year, posting a 0.81 ERA in three outings (two earned runs allowed in 22 1/3 innings). Saunders has owned the Royals in his career, going 4-0 with a 2.57 ERA, including a 7-2
victory in K.C. last year. In fact, the Royals have faced Saunders six times (five of those games came when the southpaw was with the Angels), and have just one victory to show for it. Throw in the fact Mendoza hasn’t made a start since April 26—and has given up 13 runs in his last two home starts covering just 7 1/3 innings—and this is a cheap price to lay with the better team.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆
Thursday’s Result: Pacers +1½ vs. Heat (Win)