Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Betting Preview

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The Kansas City Royals are paying a visit to St. Petersburg to face the Rays at Tropicana Field. This AL matchup will begin at 7:10 p.m. ET and fans can tune in to Fox Sports Kansas City to catch the action.

Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Odds

The Rays are 63-61 straight up (SU) and 66-57 against the spread (ATS). They’ve gained 5.8 units for moneyline bettors and 10.4 units (ATS). Tampa Bay has covered the spread four times in its last seven games and the under has hit in six of those seven. The Royals have gone 38-86 SU this year and are 57-66 ATS. In total, the team’s lost 31.3 units for gamblers taking the moneyline and 19.6 units ATS. Kansas City has covered the spread five times in its last seven games and the total has gone over in four of those seven.

Tampa Bay games have had an over/under record of 52-68-3 in 2018. Royals games have gone under 63 times, gone over 53 times and pushed on seven occasions.

Right-hander Jorge Lopez will get the nod for the visiting Royals. Lopez (0-2, 4.44 ERA) has recorded 18 strikeouts in 24.1 innings so far. He has yet to face the Rays this year and did not record a start against them in 2017, either.

The Rays will turn to righty Hunter Wood (0-1, 4.10 ERA), who’s got 31 strikeouts and 14 walks as well as a WHIP of 1.67. Wood did not record a start against the Royals in 2017.

Kansas City’s pitching staff allowed 5.5 runs per game and its starters own a 5.35 ERA, 1.48 WHIP and 7.38 K/9. The bullpen has managed an ERA of 5.23, along with a WHIP of 1.48 and a K/9 of 7.27.

Royals hitters have slashed .240/.304/.374 on their way to 3.7 runs scored per game in 2018, including 3.6 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 4.6 per game over the team’s last five outings (2-3 SU).

Second baseman Whit Merrifield and catcher Salvador Perez continue to lead Kansas City’s offense. The speedy Merrifield is slashing .303/.372/.426 with eight home runs, 43 RBIs, 58 runs and 27 stolen bases, while Perez (.235/.273/.432) has produced 21 homers, 60 RBIs and 40 runs scored.

For the home team, Tampa Bay’s pitchers have yielded 4.0 runs per game overall this season. Its starters have an ERA of 3.77, a WHIP of 1.19 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 9.2. The bullpen has a 3.79 ERA, 1.22 WHIP and 8.2 K/9.

The Tampa Bay offense has put up 4.1 runs per outing, including 3.3 per game over its last 10 games and 3.2 per game over its last five. The team’s hit .226/.306/.372 over its last five contests and is 3-2 SU during that span.

Third baseman Matt Duffy and left fielder Mallex Smith have paced the Rays’ offense this year. Duffy is hitting .294/.351/.371 with four home runs, 32 RBIs and 42 runs scored, and Smith’s line is .298/.370/.421 with 106 hits, 29 RBIs, 48 runs and 26 stolen bases.

The Royals have lost 26.9 units and are 35-48 ATS when facing a righty starter this season. The over has cashed in 39 of those games, compared to 39 that’ve gone under in such games. On the other hand, the Rays have lost 0.5 units and are 44-42 ATS when facing a right-handed starting pitcher. The over has hit in 40 of those games, as opposed to 44 that’ve gone under.

Kansas City Royals at Tampa Bay Rays Pick

Predictions: SU Winner – Rays, ATS Winner – Royals, O/U – OVER

Betting Notes

  • Kansas City has recorded 15 extra-base hits over its last five outings. Tampa Bay has 16 XBH over its last five.
  • Kansas City has recorded 18.8 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 contests and 20.6 over its last five.
  • The Royals have hit 10 home runs in their last 10 games, including eight over their last five.