Back Dogs in Rays vs. Royals

Jeff Grant

Monday, April 7, 2014 3:09 PM GMT

The Tampa Bay Rays have struggled in road openers since becoming a MLB franchise, which provides the Kansas City Royals value as home underdogs Monday night. Should sports bettors be quick to back them with their sports picks tonight?

Let’s take a closer look at the pro baseball betting lines for this American League matchup at Kauffman Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. ET.

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Leaving the Sunshine State
Tampa Bay will leave the Sunshine State for the first time since camp opened during the spring, as it won four of seven games on its opening homestand.

The Rays are 3-13 all-time in road openers, including a 2-6 mark under manager Joe Maddon.   

It’s important to point out that 24 of the club’s first 27 games are against teams that didn’t make the postseason a year ago.

Read our Monday MLB Picks of the Day article for more free plays.

Unable to complete the sweep
Kansas City captured two of three games against the Chicago White Sox over the weekend, but dropped a 5-1 decision as -117 home favorites Sunday, while going UNDER the betting total for a second consecutive contest. 

The Royals will likely play a lot of close ball games this season, considering they compiled a 31-25 record in one-run affairs in 2013.

MLB handicappers will find that the squad is 22-27 as home underdogs of +100 to +125 the last two-plus seasons.

 

Moore
Rays starting pitcher Matt Moore (0-1, 3.18 ERA) suffered a 3-0 home loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in his first outing of the season, as he allowed two runs and six hits over 5.2 innings of work. 

The left-hander has gone 0-1 with a 6.39 ERA in two career starts versus the Royals—failing to earn a decision in a 5-4 defeat in his only effort at this ballpark on June 27, 2012. 

Tampa Bay has proven victorious in 10 of Moore’s last 11 starts as a road favorite.

 

Vargas
Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas (0-0, 1.29 ERA) didn’t earn a decision in a 2-1 road defeat to the Detroit Tigers last week, as he surrendered just a single run and five hits over seven frames.

The left-hander has compiled a 3.42 ERA in his career against the Rays, but he’s gone 3-4 due to limited run support. 

Vargas will be making his first home start as a member of the ball club.

[gameodds]3/261236/?r-1=43-19-349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Royals as one of their MLB picks, as they’ve won six of the last seven meetings in this series. 

Free Pick:  Kansas City Royals +110