Royals Momentum Skewed by 9th Inning Heroics: Bet 'Over/Under' as ML is Too Iffy

David Lawrence

Wednesday, July 8, 2015 12:01 PM GMT

Wednesday, Jul. 8, 2015 12:01 PM GMT

After Tuesday's double-header, the Tampa Bay Rays and Kansas City Royals continue with a sizable home dog on the MLB lines. This astute capper sees the best value MLB pick in the run total odds.

Momentum
The Royals are the team with all the momentum here after Tuesday’s events. The Royals won the first game of a day-night doubleheader on a walk-off grand slam home run in the bottom of the ninth inning by Paulo Orlando, who hit just his second home run of the whole season. The win was that much more uplifting for the Royals, and that much more painful for the Rays, because Tampa Bay had tied the game in the top of the ninth against Kansas City’s very strong closer, Greg Holland, who has formed part of the core of Kansas City’s near-untouchable bullpen. Getting a tying run off Holland was such a boost for the Rays, so to lose that game immediately changed the way they felt about themselves.

What should also be pointed out about that result is that it marked the Royals’ third walk-off win in four games after going the first 77 games of the season without any walk-off wins. Conversely, this was the third walk-off loss for the Rays in four games. They lost two straight walk-off games to the New York Yankees on Friday and Saturday. They won on Sunday. Their game on Monday was rained out, creating Tuesday’s doubleheader. Then they lost the opener in walk-off fashion. As you can readily imagine, Tampa Bay was deflated and Kansas City was sky-high in the second game. The Royals built a 5-1 lead in the bottom of the sixth. Tampa Bay really has to reverse course here in this game on Wednesday, as it continues to plummet while the Royals maintain their lead in the American League Central Division.

 

Pitching Matchup
With Chris Archer on the mound, the Rays could not have a better guy with the ball in this game. Archer is having a truly elite season. His overall ERA is outstanding, at 2.18. His WHIP is also top-of-the-line, at just 0.95. Any WHIP under 1.00 is excellent, so the Rays have to feel that they have a pitcher who can keep the Royals’ bats under wraps and put the memory of Tuesday in the past. Archer pitched a shutout in his most recent game and has given up more than three runs in only one of his last 10 outings. Archer has pitched at least six full innings in all but one of his last eight appearances. He’s pitched at least seven innings in five of his last eight games.

The Royals go with Jeremy Guthrie. He’s a harder pitcher to figure out. His ERA is 5.42 and his WHIP is 1.46, but he gave up 11 runs in a horrible one-inning outing in late May. That has affected his season-long stats. In his last two starts, he’s been very good, throwing 13 1/3 innings and giving up a total of four runs in those innings – entirely solid. You don’t know when Guthrie, who is not a hard thrower, will get hammered. Usually, he’s able to pitch 5 to 6 innings and give up two to three runs.

 

What’s The Pick?
Archer is definitely the better of the two starters but under looks like the better MLB pick. Guthrie pitches far better at home (3.72 ERA, .253 opponent batting average) compared to on the road (7.40 and .345). We should see a low scoring affair in this one.

MLB Pick: Under 7 at The Greek

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