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Red Sox open series in Kansas City

The Boston Red Sox will send Jon Lester to the mound on Thursday night as they open up a four-game MLB betting series at Kauffman Stadium against the Kansas City Royals.

Lester is 10-6 with a 4.52 ERA on the season, and the lefthander was knocked around for six runs on 11 hits over 4 1-3 innings of work in his last start against the D-Backs. Boston is 1-2 against Kansas City in three meetings this year.

Kansas City sends Bruce Chen out to the mound in this game; Chen is 1-0 with a 1.50 ERA on the season.

View Boston vs Kansas City Odds and Stats.

Betting Line:
The Red Sox were listed as 109 favorites on the baseball moneyline at many online sportsbooks, including 5Dimes. The total was set at 8 before betting started earlier on Monday over at Bovada.

Power Rankings:
The Royals - Red Sox odds would favor the Red Sox if the lines were set according to our power ranks. Kansas City is rated No. 3 in the current American League Odds Shark poll, while Boston is at No. 2 in the American League.

How They Match Up:
The game also pits Kansas City's No. 11-rated American League offense, averaging 4 runs per game, against a Red Sox defense that ranks No. 7 in the American League at 4.1 in runs allowed per game. The Royals have averaged 8.8 hits per game so far, less than Red Sox batters have averaged on the year (9.5 hits per game).

Kansas City owns the American League's No. 2 defense, allowing 3.8 men per game to cross the plate. That contrasts with Boston's American League No. 7-rated defense.

Boston was a 7-5 winner in its last match on the road against the Astros. They won as -170 favorites, while the total score of 12 made winners of OVER bettors. The Red Sox enjoyed a 7-5 victory at the expense of the Astros on Wednesday, with Ryan Dempster throwing 6 innings of 7-hit ball at Minute Maid Park.

The Royals were a 5-2 winner in their most recent outing at home against the Twins. That made winners of bettors who got Kansas City at -148 on the moneyline, while the total score (7) was good news for UNDER bettors. Kansas City looks to continue its winning ways following a victory last time out against the Twins, a 5-2 final on Wednesday in support of Danny Duffy at Kauffman Stadium.

Boston Red Sox Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 2-8
Before playing Kansas City are 5-5
After playing Houston are 7-3
After a win are 5-5

Kansas City Royals Trends:
When playing on Thursday are 6-4
Before playing Boston are 4-6
After playing Minnesota are 6-4
After a win are 8-2

A few Red Sox at Royals trends to consider:
Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
Boston is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of Boston's last 9 games on the road
Boston is 6-3 SU in its last 9 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
Kansas City is 13-2 SU in its last 15 games
Kansas City is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Kansas City's last 6 games at home
The total has gone UNDER in 11 of Kansas City's last 15 games

Next up:
Boston at Kansas City, Friday, August 9