The struggling Kansas City Royals will try to avoid dropping their fifth consecutive game they play host to the Tampa Bay Rays at Ewing M. Kauffman Stadium. This AL matchup will begin at 2:15 p.m. ET and fans looking to watch it can tune in to Fox Sports Kansas City.
Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals Odds
Kansas City (+105) is coming into this one as the underdog to Tampa Bay (-115) and Vegas has put the Over/Under for this game at 9 runs (-115 for the over and -105 for the under). Bettors can also wager on the game’s runline with the most recent odds sitting at Rays -1.5 runs (+130) and Royals 1.5 runs (-150).
The Rays have gone 18-22 SU this year and are 19-20 against the spread (ATS). They’ve lost 5.7 units for bettors taking the moneyline in the season’s early going and 2.2 units ATS. Tampa Bay has covered the spread just once over its last seven games and the under has hit in four of those seven. The Royals, on the other hand, are 13-29 SU and 18-23 ATS. They’ve lost 11.9 units for bettors taking the moneyline and 8.4 units ATS. Kansas City has a 3-4 ATS record over its last seven outings and the total has gone over in four of those seven.
Kansas City games have an over/under record of 16-23-2 thus far in 2018. The Rays have an over/under record of 20-17-2.
Jake Faria is getting the start for the Rays. The right-handed Faria is 3-2 with a 5.09 ERA and 33 strikeouts. He has yet to face the Royals this year and did not record a start against them in 2017, either.
The Royals are sending righty Jason Hammel (0-4, 6.13 ERA) to the mound. Hammel has 25 strikeouts and 16 walks to his credit, as well as a WHIP of 1.45. Hammel only made one start against the Rays in 2017 (0-1, 7.71 ERA and six strikeouts across seven innings).
As a unit, Kansas City’s pitchers have yielded 5.7 runs per game overall in 2018. The team’s starters have a 5.38 ERA, 1.40 WHIP and 7.3 strikeouts per nine innings. The bullpen has a 5.64 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 6.4 K/9.
The Kansas City offense is putting up 4.0 runs per contest, including 5.0 per game over its last 10 games and 4.0 per game over its last five. The team has a slash-line of .275/.310/.388 over its last five games and is 1-4 SU during that span.
The Royals’ hitters have been led by outfielder Jorge Soler and third baseman Mike Moustakas. Soler is hitting .316/.419/.519 with five home runs, 18 RBIs and 19 runs scored, while Moustakas is hitting .299 with 10 homers, 29 RBIs and 26 runs.
Soler performed well at home in 2017, slashing .213/.302/.404 over 53 plate appearances (his total season line was .144/.245/.258).
In the visiting dugout, Tampa Bay’s pitching staff allowed 4.8 runs per game and its starters own a 4.47 ERA, 1.24 WHIP and 8.09 K/9. The bullpen has an ERA of 4.79, along with a K/9 of 8.53.
Rays hitters have slashed .262/.333/.399 on their way to 4.3 runs scored per game this season, including 3.4 runs per game over the team’s last 10 games and 4.4 per game over the team’s last five contests (3-2 SU).
Tampa Bay’s offense has been led by first baseman C.J. Cron and second baseman Daniel Robertson. Cron is hitting .284/.331/.503 with nine home runs, 25 RBIs and 21 runs scored, while Robertson is slashing .261/.414/.424 with three homers, nine RBIs and 16 runs scored.
Putting up a slash line of .213/.244/.339 across 135 plate appearances, Cron seemed to have a little trouble hitting right-handed pitching on the road in 2017 (compared to his overall season line of .248/.305/.437).
The Rays have lost 6.8 units and are 10-15 ATS when facing a right-handed starting pitcher this year. The over has hit in 14 of those games, compared to 10 that’ve hit the under in such games. On the other hand, the Royals have lost 14.1 units and are 9-16 ATS when facing a righty starter. The over has cashed in 10 of those games, compared to 13 that went under.
Tampa Bay Rays at Kansas City Royals MLB Tip
Predictions: SU Winner – Royals, ATS Winner – Royals, O/U – OVER
The Rays have hit five home runs in their last 10 games, including four over their last five.
Tampa Bay has averaged 20.4 runs + hits + errors over its last 10 contests and 21.6 over its last five.
The Royals have lost six of their last seven games SU.
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