After sweeping the Reds earlier this week, the Atlanta Braves are headed to Kansas City to take on the Royals in a three-game weekend series. First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET. Charlie Morton (1-1, 4.35 ERA) gets the ball for Atlanta while Kansas City will send ace Brady Singer (1-0, 4-91 ERA) to the mound.
The Braves are -140 moneyline favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook, while the Royals are +120 underdogs. The total is set at 9.
Braves-Royals picks: Friday, April 14th
Out: SS Orlando Arcia (microfracture in left wrist), C Travis d’Arnaud (concussion), OF Michael Harris II (lower back strain), SP Max Fried (strained left hamstring), RP Rasiel Iglesias (right shoulder soreness), RP Collin McHugh (right shoulder discomfort)
Out: SP Daniel Lynch (left rotator cuff strain), OF Drew Waters (left oblique strain)
Charlie Morton vs. Brady Singer
The ageless wonder, Morton’s started the season with two pedestrian starts, as he gave up three runs in 5.1 innings against the St. Louis Cardinals in his season debut before allowing two earned runs in five innings in his last time out against the San Diego Padres. When Morton’s at his best, he’s mixing his solid fastball (94.5 average velocity) with his sweeping curveball that has 13.8 inches of break.
After putting together a strong season last year, Singer entered this season as a sleeper Cy Young pick. Those positive vibes haven’t carried over into the season, however, as Singer has gotten lit up in his first two starts of the season, and currently ranks in the bottom-third percentile in average exit velocity, hard hit rate and expected batting average.
The Braves lineup has been ravaged by injuries lately, as they lost three starters in d’Arnaud, Arcia and Harris over the past week. While they still boast All-Stars in Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Matt Olson and Austin Riley, their lineup is nowhere near as deep as it has been previously. With that in mind, I’m taking the under, as the Royals offense doesn’t have a ton of thumb.
Pick: Under 9
I’m backing Singer and the Royals to pull off the upset tonight. While the Braves just completed a sweep of the Reds, every game was decided by a single late-game run. I think their luck runs out tonight against the Royals and Singer, who puts together his best start of the season.