The Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays lock horns in the second contest of a three-game series at Tropicana Field this Wednesday night, so here’s the best betting pick for their American League showdown along with the latest odds on BetRivers Sportsbook.
The Rays were listed as -200 home favorites to win the opening game of this series. They also opened as -200 moneyline favorites for Wednesday’s clash, while the Royals are set at +184 odds with a total of 7.5 runs.
These two AL foes already met in April, and the Rays won the three-game set at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, 2-1. Excluding their Tuesday’s game at Tropicana Field, the Rays have won 14 of their previous 18 tilts against the Royals.
Kansas City looks to finish the month on a high note
The Kansas City Royals have had a rough patch earlier this month, riding an 11-game losing streak. They’ve managed to break out of the slump and win six of their last nine games overall. The Royals entered the Rays series with a 22-23 record, sitting at the third spot of the AL Central standings.
Kansas City is scoring 4.16 runs per game (18th in the majors) on a .235/.304/.375 slash line. Their slugging percentage is the seventh-worst in baseball, and over the last three weeks, the Royals have recorded an OPS of .679.
Mike Minor will take the mound Wednesday, and the 33-year-old lefty is 3-2 in nine starts this season. Despite his positive record, Minor hasn’t been at his best, sporting a 5.14 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, and 52/17 K/BB ratio across 49 frames of work. Last week, he tossed six innings of a four-run baseball in a no-decision against the Tigers.
The Rays hope to stay on the winning path
The Tampa Bay Rays have been ridiculously good over the last few weeks, winning 17 of their last 21 games before Tuesday’s opener against the Royals. They entered this series on an 11-game winning streak, sweeping the Mets, Orioles, and Blue Jays in the process.
The Rays were 30-19 on Tuesday and led the way in the AL East, half a game ahead of the Red Sox. Tampa is tallying 5.08 runs per game (5th in the majors) while slashing .235/.318/.409. This month, the Rays smacked 35 round-trippers and posted the fifth-best OPS in baseball (.779).
Tyler Glasnow will get the starting nod Wednesday, looking to improve his 4-2 record in 2021. The 27-year-old righty owns a sharp 2.90 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and 87/21 K/BB ratio across 62 frames of work. Last week, he was pounded by the Blue Jays for five earned runs on nine hits in just 4.2 innings, but the Rays escaped with a 9-7 victory.
- 4-14 in the last 18 games against Tampa Bay
- 2-6 in the last eight games on the road
- 6-1 in the last seven home games against Kansas City
- 17-4 in the last 21 games overall
The current Rays are batting only .157 against Mike Minor, but the Royals’ hurler hasn’t met Tampa since 2017. The Rays have been terrific at the plate lately, so I’m backing them to extend their dominance over Kansas City.
Tyler Glasnow is coming off his worst start of the season and will be keen to make amends for that awful display against Toronto’s mighty offense. He’s the Rays’ top ace, no doubt, while the current Royals are batting .249 against him. Still, they have a poor .263 slugging percentage against Glasnow who’s been a strikeout machine so far this season.
Pick: Take Tampa Bay Rays at -200
The Rays are yielding 4.06 runs per game (9th in the majors), but their pitching staff posted a 2.95 ERA over the last 15 days. On the other side, the Royals’ pitching staff posted a 3.68 ERA in that span, while Kansas City is surrendering 4.71 runs per game this season (20th).
Tropicana Field is quite a pitcher-friendly park, so I’m going with the under. Tyler Glasnow could easily shut down the Royals on a good day, while both bullpens will look to extend their good form, though Tampa to win remains my first choice here.
Pick: Go under 7.5 runs at -120