Though it owns the best overall record in the American League, Baltimore is a rather pedestrian 13-11 at home after dropping four of its last six games at Camden Yards. The Orioles still come in with a one-game lead over Tampa Bay in the AL East. Kansas City Royals, which is a solid 12-9 on the road, has steadied itself after a 12-game losing streak in April, going 14-12 to remain within striking distance of AL Central leader Cleveland.
The Baltimore Orioles have been carried by a powerful offense that leads the major leagues with 69 home runs. Adam Jones, who leads the club with 14, is one of five Baltimore hitters with at least seven round-trippers. Kansas City has gotten a solid effort from its young lineup, but its pitching staff has struggled, ranking near the bottom of the league in most major categories. Baltimore has won six of the last eight meetings between the teams, including a pair in Kansas City last week.
Royals Orioles Betting
When: 7:05 PM ET, Friday, May 25, 2012
Where: Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, Fox Sports (Kansas City), MASN2 (Baltimore)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals LH Bruce Chen (3-4, 4.17 ERA) vs. Orioles RH Jason Hammel (5-1, 3.12 ERA)
The up-and-down Chen has settled down since absorbing four straight losses, winning his last three starts. He has pitched into the seventh inning of each victory, allowing six runs and striking out 16 over 19 2/3 frames. In four career starts against the Orioles, Chen is 2-1 with a 3.74 ERA, with the defeat coming last Aug. 2.
Hammel had not allowed more than two runs in any of his first six starts with the Orioles, but he has come back to reality recently, giving up nine runs over 10 1/3 innings in his last two games. Solid run support allowed him to avoid losses in both. Hammel is 0-2 with a 6.75 ERA in six career games (three starts) against the Royals.
1. Excluding injured 2B Brian Roberts (0-for-7), the Orioles are a combined 21-for-54 (.389) against Chen, led by Jones (5-for-11, homers, 3 RBIs) and RF Nick Markakis (4-for-10, double, two walks).
2. SS Alcides Escobar (3-for-7) is the only Kansas City hitter with more than two hits against Hammel. The Royals are 11-for-46 (.239) against him as a team.
3. The Orioles have won 15 of their last 18 games against the American League Central teams and are 16-5 in their last 21 games against left-handed starters.