The TB Rays & KC Royals will play a doubleheader on Tuesday in Kansas City. This MLB pick is for Game 2, the nighttime installment of the day-night baseball betting matchups.
The Rays are struggling and scuffling as a team right now, while Kansas City has solidified itself as one of the top two teams in the American League and one of the favorites for the playoffs and the World Series.
The Royals don’t have a lot of momentum, but they have more than the Rays do. Tampa Bay got wiped out at home by the Cleveland Indians last week. The Rays have been noticeably weak at home this season, going 21-27 while being 22-14 on the road. You might think the Rays should be favored in light of that set of statistics, but the problem is that the Royals are a strong 24-15 at home. They do well in their home park, Kauffman Stadium.
In terms of a broader reading of momentum, it should be pointed out that the Rays – despite playing on the road, where they’re generally comfortable – lost two out of three games this past weekend to the New York Yankees. What stood out about the series was that the Rays imploded in both of their losses before winning a blowout on Sunday. The Rays’ bullpen squandered 3-0 and 5-3 leads on Friday night, the 5-3 lead in extra innings. On Saturday, a horrible defensive gaffe enabled the Yankees to plate the winning run. The Rays were leading the American League East for much of the season, but they have fallen to third place, barely above .500. They’re in real trouble, and the limitations of their roster are showing. Not having Wil Myers (now in San Diego with the Padres) has shown up as a key loss for the Rays this season.
The Royals aren’t doing anything special, but they don’t have to. They just split four games at home against the second-place Minnesota Twins in the American League Central. That’s not a great performance, but it means the Twins have four fewer games in which to make up ground against the Royals. They’ll live with that result. Kansas City’s pitching remains very strong, a good indicator for the coming months after the All-Star break.
Game 2 Rays vs. Royals: Starting Pitching Matchup
With this pitching matchup, the Rays should feel good about their prospects. Matt Andriese has been very good for the Rays, posting a 3.24 ERA with a 1.15 WHIP. Andriese does not go deep into games – he’s never pitched more than six full innings in an appearance this season – but he’s given up more than two runs in an appearance only once in his last eight outings. He’s given up four runs on eight hits in his last 15 1/3 innings, which is very good.
The Royals turn to Edinson Volquez. His numbers are comparable to Andriese’s, but he has pitched seven complete innings in some of his better starts this season. He eats up more innings, so if his ERA is slightly higher, it’s based on more work. However, Volquez has struggled in two of his last three starts. He’s given up at least four runs in two of his recent starts, giving up 10 runs in his last 17 1/3 innings.
What’s The Best Pick?
Both teams seem to win a lot when both starters go. The Royals have won nine of Volquez’ last 11 starts while the Rays have won seven of the last eight times Andriese has made it to the mound. The concern here is that Andriese doesn’t go deep into games and the Rays bullpen might be fatigued from the doubleheader. On top of that, Volquez is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts against the Rays, so we’ll trust him with our MLB picks here.
MLB Pick: Royals -125 at BetOnline