April 19th, 2010 Pick – Kansas City Royals vs. Toronto Blue Jays

After a hot start, the Toronto Blue Jays have really cooled off. Most expected the Jays to have a rough season in 2010, but they have proved the doubters wrong by posting a 7-6 record a few weeks into the season. Adam Lind has been on fire after signing a major contract with the Jays. Unfortunately for Toronto, they had to face the White Sox and Angels in back to back series, and have since fallen back to earth. Nonetheless, Toronto has proved that they are for real and are coming to play each time they step on the field. On Monday they are going to start a new series with the Kansas City Royals. Kansas City, like Toronto, has exceeded expectations in the early 2010 season. After holding their own against Boston and Detroit, KC is hoping to put a beating on Toronto.

The pitchers in this game are off to two very different starts. For the Blue Jays, Brandon Morrow gets the ball. Morrow has had a very disappointing start, posting an ERA of 12 with no wins. Beyond this, Morrow’s career stats against Kansas City are less than impressive. Where most pitchers would thrive against a traditionally weak Royals team, Morrow has managed to struggle. Opposing Morrow is Brian Bannister. Bannister has been dominant in his initial starts, holding onto an ERA just over 2. A New York Mets castoff, Bannister has rejuvenated his career to a Cy Young-like level. No one expected this of Bannister, who has been an average pitcher in years past. These two starting pitchers contrast each other as much as possible in 2010, with one having experienced unparalleled success while the other is enduring a painful start.

As good as Brian Bannister has been, his bullpen is still a major cause for concern. Nothing would be worse than betting on the Royals, seeing Bannister put on a stellar performance, and then not getting the win anyway because his bullpen faltered. You can avoid this by betting on the 1st Five Innings at Sportsbook. With the money line for this game sitting at -120 for Blue Jays and even money for Royals, anything better than -120 on the 1st Five Innings for the Royals is a steal.

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