Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals Free Pick

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In the 2 game of their doubleheader, the Tampa Bay Rays are set to face off against the Kansas City Royals at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. The opening pitch is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. ET and Fox Sports Kansas City will showcase this AL showdown.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals Odds

Las Vegas has Kansas City (+160) as the underdog to Tampa Bay (-170). If you’re thinking the game’s total is going to finish under 8 runs, then Vegas is putting up even money odds (+100). Playing the over will return -120 odds. This game currently has a runline of Rays -1.5 (-120) and Royals +1.5 (+100).

The Royals are only 9-20 straight up (SU) and 14-15 against the spread (ATS). They’ve lost 9.0 units for moneyline bettors and 4.8 units ATS. Kansas City has covered the spread just twice in its last seven games and the total went over in five of those seven. The Rays are 19-9 SU and have gone 19-9 against the spread. In total, the team’s accumulated 5.9 units for moneyline bettors through the early part of the year and 9.9 units ATS. Tampa Bay’s covered the spread five times in its last seven games and the under has hit in four of those seven.

Royals games have an over/under record of 18-10-1 so far in 2019. Tampa Bay has an over/under record of 12-15-1.

Blake Snell is getting the nod for the visiting Rays. The left-handed Snell is 2-2 with a 2.54 ERA and 39 strikeouts. He’s 0-1 with three strikeouts and a 5.40 ERA against Kansas City this year.

The Royals are putting the ball in the hands of righty Glenn Sparkman (0-1, 8.10 ERA), who’s got three strikeouts and two walks as well as a 2.25 WHIP. Sparkman has yet to face the Rays this year and only made one start against them in 2018 (0-1, 6.75 ERA and five strikeouts across four innings).

Tampa Bay’s pitching staff allowed 3.1 runs per game and its starters own a 2.04 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 10.08 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 3.86, along with a K-per-9 of 9.61.

The Rays offense has slashed .257/.340/.444 on its way to 4.8 runs scored per game this season, including 4.5 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 4.4 per game over the team’s last five outings (4-1 SU).

Tampa Bay’s offense has been powered by outfielder Tommy Pham and first baseman Yandy Diaz, who have combined to drive in 30 runs. Pham is slashing .294/.416/.461 with four home runs, 12 RBIs, 14 runs and six steals, while Diaz is hitting .298 with seven homers, 18 RBIs and 18 runs scored.

For the home team, Kansas City’s pitching staff has yielded 5.4 runs per game overall this season. The club’s starters have a 5.46 ERA, 1.42 WHIP and 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings. The bullpen has a 5.29 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 8.5 K/9.

The Kansas City offense has put up 4.6 runs per contest, including 4.3 per game over its last 10 games and 5.6 per game over its last five. The team’s hit .269/.344/.419 over its last five contests and is 2-3 SU during that span.

Second baseman Whit Merrifield and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi have led the Royals’ batters so far. Merrifield is slashing .288/.346/.483 with four home runs, 11 RBIs, 22 runs and five stolen bases, while Mondesi’s line sits at .287/.312/.504 with three homers, 24 RBIs, 16 runs and eight stolen bases.

The Rays have gained 1.6 units and are 13-7 ATS when facing a righty starter this season. The over has cashed in 11 of those games, compared to eight that’ve gone under in such games. On the other hand, the Royals have lost 3.0 units and are 4-4 ATS when facing a left-handed starting pitcher. The over’s hit in four of those games, as opposed to three which went under the total.

Rays vs. Royals MLB Tip

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

Betting Notes

  • The over has hit in three of Tampa Bay’s last seven outings.
  • The Rays have won five of their last six games SU while the Royals have dropped three of their last four.
  • Kansas City has recorded 19.9 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 contests and 23.6 over its last five.
  • Each team has hit 11 home runs over its last 10 outings.
  • The Rays have an OPS of .785 this season and an OPS of .802 when facing right-handed pitchers. The Royals’ OPS sits at .741 overall and .768 against righties.