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The Kansas City Royals visit the Houston Astros for the finale of a midweek series on Thursday. Kansas City toppled Houston on Wednesday, avoiding a potential sweep. However, the Astros won the first two games and will aim for a series win on Thursday. Houston is 53-28 this season, while Kansas City enters at 30-50.

Caesars Sportsbook lists Houston as the -365 money-line favorite (risk $365 to win $100) for this 2:10 p.m. ET first pitch. The total number of runs Vegas thinks will be scored, or the over-under, is eight in the latest Astros vs. Royals odds. Before locking in any Royals vs. Astros picks, you need to see the MLB predictions and betting advice from SportsLine's advanced computer simulation model.

The SportsLine Projection Model simulates every MLB game 10,000 times, and it is 271-232 on top-rated MLB money-line picks since the start of the 2021 season, returning well over $500 for $100 players. This is the same model that pegged the 2021 Atlanta Braves at 10-1 as one of three best bets to win it all last season. Anybody who has followed it has seen profitable returns.

Now, the model has set its sights on Royals vs. Astros, and just locked in its picks and MLB predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see the model's picks. Now, here are several MLB odds and betting lines for Astros vs. Royals:

  • Astros vs. Royals money line: Astros -365, Royals +285
  • Astros vs. Royals over-under: 8 runs 
  • Astros vs. Royals run line: Astros -1.5 (-165)
  • KC: The Royals are 13-24 in day games 
  • HOU: The Astros are 23-9 in day games 
  • Astros vs. Royals picks: See picks here.
Featured Game | Houston Astros vs. Kansas City Royals

Why you should back the Royals

The Royals have notable strengths, even if the Astros are heavily favored in Thursday's game at home. Kansas City is leading the American League in triples this season, and the Royals have youthful talent and quality team speed. In addition, the Royals put the ball in play with regularity, ranking in the top five of the American League with a strikeout rate below 21 percent. 

On the run prevention side, there is reason for optimism with Kris Bubic, who is pitching much better since the calendar flipped from May to June. Bubic threw five scoreless innings against Houston earlier this season, and the Astros are not dominating offensive metrics to the level they have in previous years. In fact, Houston ranks below the AL average right now in hits, doubles, triples and stolen bases for the 2022 season.

Why you should back the Astros

Houston's pitching projection is strong in Thursday's matchup. Eight-time All-Star and two-time Cy Young winner Justin Verlander takes the ball for the Astros, and he has a 2.03 ERA this season. The Astros are also facing a Royals team with a scuffling offense, and Houston's bullpen ranks in the top four of the American League in both ERA and wins above replacement from relief pitchers. On offense, Houston is also fantastic, with top-five marks in several categories. 

The Astros rank in the top three of the AL in home runs, with top-tier metrics in runs scored, walks, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Yordan Alvarez is enjoying one of the best 2022 seasons of any hitter in the American League, leading the AL in slugging percentage and OPS with top-10 marks in home runs and advanced metrics. Houston is also facing a vulnerable opposing starter in Kris Bubic, who has a 7.06 ERA and a 1.87 WHIP in 2022.

How to make Royals vs. Astros picks

SportsLine's model is leaning over on the run total, projecting 8.7 combined runs. It also says one side of the money line has all the value. You can only get the model's MLB picks at SportsLine.

So who wins Royals vs. Astros? And which side has all the value? Visit SportsLine now to see which side of Royals vs. Astros you need to jump on Thursday, all from the model that has crushed its MLB picks, and find out.