Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals Free Preview

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In Game 1 of a doubleheader, the Tampa Bay Rays are set to face off against the Kansas City Royals at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. Fox Sports Kansas City will televise this AL matchup and the action gets underway at 1:15 p.m. ET.

Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals Odds

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

Ryne Stanek is getting the nod for Tampa Bay. The right-handed Stanek is 0-0 with a 1.20 ERA and 14 strikeouts. He’s 0-0 with a 0.00 ERA against Kansas City this year (two starts).

The Royals will turn to righty Jakob Junis (2-2, 5.57 ERA), who has 32 punchouts and 10 walks, in addition to a WHIP of 1.48. Junis is 1-0 with six strikeouts and a 1.80 ERA in one start against Tampa Bay this year.

Kansas City’s pitching staff has given up 5.4 runs per game overall this season as a unit. Its starters have an ERA of 5.46, a WHIP of 1.42 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 7.6. The bullpen has a 5.29 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 8.5 K/9.

Kansas City’s hitters are putting up 4.6 runs per contest, including 4.3 per game over its last 10 games and 5.6 per game over their last five. The team has slashed .269/.344/.419 over its last five contests and is 2-3 SU during that stretch.

Second baseman Whit Merrifield and shortstop Adalberto Mondesi have paced the Royals’ offense so far. Merrifield is hitting .288/.346/.483 with four home runs, 11 RBIs, 22 runs and five steals, while Mondesi’s line is .287/.312/.504 with three homers, 24 RBIs, 16 runs and eight steals.

In the visiting dugout, Tampa Bay’s pitchers have 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 managed an ERA of 3.86, along with a WHIP of 0.92.

Rays hitters have slashed .257/.340/.444 on their 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 hitters have been paced by left fielder 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 (.298/.395/.596) has produced seven homers, 18 RBIs and 18 runs scored.

The Rays have gained 1.6 units and are 13-7 ATS when facing a righty starter this season. The over has hit in 11 of those games, compared to eight that’ve gone under against right-handed starting pitchers. On the other hand, the Royals have lost 6.0 units and are 10-11 ATS when facing a right-handed starting pitcher. The over’s hit in 14 of those games, compared to seven that’ve cashed the under.

Rays at Royals Free MLB Pick

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

Betting Notes

  • The under has cashed in four of Tampa Bay’s last seven games.
  • The Rays have a total 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.
  • The Rays have won five of their last six games SU while the Royals have lost three of their last four.
  • Tampa Bay has recorded 20.1 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 contests and 18.8 over its last five.
  • Both teams have hit 11 home runs over their last 10 games.