Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals Free Preview

Jose VasquezArticles, Baseball, MLB

The Tampa Bay Rays are set to face the Kansas City Royals at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. The game gets underway 8:15 p.m. ET and Fox Sports Kansas City will showcase this AL showdown.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals Odds

The Rays have gone 17-22 SU this year and are 19-19 against the spread (ATS). They’ve lost 6.7 units for moneyline bettors over the early part of the year and 1.2 units ATS. Tampa Bay has covered the spread just once over its last seven games and the total has gone under in four of those seven. The Royals, on the other hand, are 13-28 SU and 17-23 ATS. They’ve lost 10.8 units for moneyline bettors and 9.4 units ATS. Kansas City has a 3-4 ATS mark over its last seven games and the over has cashed in four of those seven.

Kansas City games have had an over/under record of 16-22-2 thus far in 2018. The Rays have an over/under record of 20-16-2.

The southpaw Anthony Banda is projected to start for Tampa Bay. Banda is 0-0 with an ERA. He has yet to face the Royals this year and did not record a start against them in 2017, either.

The Royals are going with righty Ian Kennedy (1-4, 4.61 ERA), whos got 39 strikeouts and 13 walks, as well as a 1.49 WHIP. Kennedy only made one start against the Rays in 2017 (0-1, 23.63 ERA across 2.2 innings).

Tampa Bay’s pitching staff allowed 4.8 runs per game and its starters own a 4.45 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 8.25 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 4.80, along with a K-per-9 of 8.58.

The Rays offense has slashed .261/.333/.397 on its way to 4.2 runs scored per game in 2018, including 3.4 runs per game over the teams last 10 games and 4.0 per game over the teams last five outings (2-3 SU).

Second baseman Daniel Robertson and first baseman C.J. Cron have led Tampa Bay’s offense. Robertson is hitting .267/.421/.433 with 24 hits, nine RBIs and 16 runs scored, while Cron (.280/.329/.487) has produced 42 hits, eight homers, 23 RBIs and 20 runs scored.

Cron didn’t seem to enjoy hitting against righties on the road last year. Over 135 such plate appearances, he put up a slash line of .213/.244/.339 (compared to his overall season line of .248/.305/.437).

For the home team, Kansas City’s pitching staff has yielded 5.7 runs per game overall in 2018. Its starting pitching staff has an ERA of 5.33, a WHIP of 1.40 and a strikeouts-per-nine of 7.2. The bullpen has a 5.70 ERA, 1.60 WHIP and 6.4 K/9.

The Kansas City hitters have produced 4.0 runs per outing, including 4.9 per game over its last 10 games and 4.2 per game over their last five. The team has hit .271/.321/.401 over its last five matchups and is 1-4 SU during that stretch.

Outfielder Jorge Soler and third baseman Mike Moustakas have led the Royals batters this year. Soler is hitting .316/.419/.519 with five home runs, 18 RBIs and 19 runs scored, while Moustakas has put up a line of .294/.328/.546 with 10 homers, 29 RBIs and 25 runs.

Compared to his total season slash line of .144/.245/.258, Soler performed well at home in 2017, slashing .213/.302/.404 over 53 plate appearances.

The Rays have lost 6.8 units and are 10-15 ATS when facing a righty starter this season. The over has hit in 14 of those games, compared to 10 that’ve gone under against left-handed starting pitchers.

Tampa Bay Rays vs. Kansas City Royals MLB Prediction

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

Betting Notes

  • The Royals have lost five of their last six games SU.
  • Tampa Bay has recorded 20.4 Runs + Hits + Errors per game over its last 10 contests and 23.2 over its last five.
  • The Rays have hit six home runs in their last 10 games. The Royals have hit 10 over their last 10.