Rays vs Royals MLB Spread, Game Preview & Expert Pick

After recording their first doubleheader sweep since July 2015, the Kansas City Royals will look to cap off their four-game set against the visiting Tampa Bay Rays in style when they host their AL counterparts on Thursday at Kauffman Stadium. Now let’s find out if K.C. can win and cash in as a slight home underdog or whether Tampa Bay is the pick to get the win in this series finale.

Rays vs Royals MLB Spread, Game Preview & Expert Pick

Starting Pitchers

  • Rays RH Charlie Morton (3-0, 2.76 ERA)
  • Royals LH Danny Duffy (0-1, 5.40)

Why Bet On Tampa Bay?

The Rays might have suffered a 3-2 loss in the opener of Wednesday’s doubleheader while taking an even more humbling 8-2 defeat in the nightcap, but Tampa Bay had taken 11 of 12 against Kansas City prior to that and now, they’re handing the ball to veteran right-hander Charlie Morton in this series finale and that looks like a good thing.

Morton rebounded from a poor start in his previous outing against Boston to record his second scoreless start of the season on Saturday by limiting the same Red Sox to just two hits in six innings. The 35-year-old did allow a season-high four walks, but five relievers finished off Morton’s fine start by striking out six batters over the final three frames to lock down the win.

Teams Stats

Offense

  • Runs/G: 4.63
  • BA: .254
  • OPS: .771
  • HR: 37
  • SB: 22

Defense

  • ERA: 3.14
  • WHIP: 1.11
  • Ks: .291
  • Quality Starts: 11
  • Errors: 11

Why Bet On Kansas City?

Not only did the Royals take two from the Rays on Wednesday, but they’ve won four of seven and three of their last four against Tampa Bay overall.  K.C. is also putting some runs on the board recently, having scored eight runs or more three times over their last 10 games while putting five or more on the board five times during the span.

Now, Kansas City will look to get a better effort out of left-hander Danny Duffy after he gave up three runs on five hits in five innings of a 5-1 loss against the Angels on Friday. The 30-year-old needed a whopping 48 pitches to get through the first two innings while giving up three walks and a home run for the second straight start.

Team Stats

Offense

  • Runs/G: 4.61
  • BA: .242
  • OPS: .740
  • HR: 36
  • SB: 33

Defense

  • ERA: 5.17
  • WHIP: 1.46
  • Ks: .238
  • Quality Starts: 11
  • Errors: 10

Rays vs Royals MLB Betting Trends

  • Tampa Bay are 9-3 SU in their last 12 games on the road
  • The total has gone OVER in 6 of Tampa Bay’s last 8 games against an opponent in the American League Central division
  • Kansas City are 4-8 SU in their last 12 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of Kansas City’s last 5 games

Expert Analysis and Prediction for Rays vs Royals

I know Kansas City looked great on Wednesday, but I’m going to urge you to back Tampa Bay to get the win in the series finale for a few reasons. First and foremost, the Rays are ranked first in runs allowed while also ranking inside the top 10 in a handful of other defensive categories. Next, I like the way Charlie Morton has thrown the ball this season and I believe he’s going to handcuff the Rays to help Tampa Bay get the hard-fought win.

The Rays are 5-0 in their last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter, 7-2 in their last 9 games vs. a left-handed starter and a bankroll-boosting 19-7 in their last 26 road games. The Royals are 1-5 in their last 6 during game 4 of a series, a dismal 3-10 in Danny Duffy’s last 13 home starts and 0-5 in Duffy’s last 5 home starts against a team with a winning record. I like the Rays at a value-packed -177.

MLB Betting Pick: Tampa Bay 5 Kansas City 2