The problem for MLB betting enthusiasts – and those of us who write about it – when dealing with Tampa Bay Rays games is not knowing who the starting pitcher is going to be about 40 percent of the time. That’s because the Rays only really have three starters and they use an “opener” the other days. That looks to be the case on Wednesday, which will affect any MLB Lines against the Kansas City Royals.
How to Bet Rays vs Royals MLB Betting Lines & Game Info
- When: Wednesday, 8:15 PM ET
- Where: Kauffman Stadium
- Probable pitchers (away/home): TBA/Danny Duffy
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: 610 Sports
- MLB Betting Lines: TBA
Why Bet on Tampa Bay?
The Rays promoted one of their top prospects – and they have one of the best farm systems in baseball – in first baseman Nate Lowe from Triple-A before Monday’s game against the Royals. Lowe was the Rays’ minor league player of the year last season, hitting a combined .330 with 27 home runs and 102 RBIs at Class A Charlotte, Double-A Montgomery, and Durham. He scorched spring training and was hitting .300 with three homers and 21 RBIs for Durham this season.
In his MLB debut Monday, which the Rays won 8-5, Lowe played DH and went 1-for-4 with a double, walk and run scored. Lowe doubled off of Scott Barlow in the eighth inning for his first ever big-league hit in his MLB debut. The 23-year-old has shown the ability to hit for average and power in the minors, and he’s also a patient hitter who should draw a decent number of walks.
The Rays need some bats because second baseman Joey Wendle is out with a fractured right wrist and outfielder Austin Meadows is sidelined by a sprained right thumb. Both of them are left-handed hitters, like Lowe. Meadows had been off to an MVP-caliber start.
So, we’d like to tell you who is starting this game for Tampa Bay, but we don’t know. It will be an “opener.” Tampa has used an opener — using a reliever to start games, generally facing 3-9 batters, depending on matchups — 62 times since the start of last season and are 37-26 in those games, including 5-3 this season. The Rays debuted the opener last May 19 at LAA, and from that point through the end of the season ranked 3rd in the majors and 2nd in the AL with a 3.50 ERA. Since the start of last season, the Rays have a 3.29 ERA in the 1st inning, 2nd in the majors behind the Nationals (3.21). This year, Rays starters have not allowed a run in 8 appearances in games started by openers.
- Runs: 4.82
- Hits: 8.79
- Walks: 3.93
- Strike Outs: 9.86
- Runs: 3.14
- Hits: 7.11
- Walks: 2.89
- Strike Outs: 10.00
Why Bet on Kansas City?
The Royals are without first baseman Lucas Duda due to a lumbar strain in his back. Perhaps the sore back is the reason he’s batting just .174/.304/.326 with two home runs and eight RBI in 18 games. He was released by the Twins in spring training and latched back on with the Royals just before Opening Day.
Entering Tuesday, the Royals have lost eight of 10, falling to a season-high 11 games under .500 and were one shy of the club record for losses in March/April, set in 2018. The Royals have lost 11 of the last games 12 vs. Tampa Bay dating back to Aug. 30, 2017, after going 29-10 (.744) in their previous 39 matchups dating back to 2012.
On the bright side, in Monday’s loss, the Royals extended their Majors lead in triples to 15 — including seven in the last nine games —the most by any team before the end of April since the 2000 Colorado Rockies (15). The MLB record for triples before May 1 is 17, shared by the 1917 Cincinnati Reds and the 1915 Chicago White Sox/Detroit Tigers. The Royals also have 29 steals to remain on pace for 162, which would be the most by a Royals team since the 1996 club had 195 SB.
Lefty Danny Duffy will make his second start of 2019 after throwing five innings against the Angels on Friday. Duffy (0-1) took the loss, allowing three runs on five hits and three walks over five innings while striking out one as the Royals dropped a 5-1 decision to the Angels.
The southpaw wasn’t particularly sharp after being activated from the injured list prior to Friday’s start, throwing 51 of 86 pitches for strikes. Duffy is coming off a shaky 2018, so that wasn’t the most encouraging beginning to his campaign. However, Duffy’s sub-4.00 ERAs the two years before offer at least a little bit of hope that he could be a useful starter for the Royals if he can stay healthy.
- Runs: 4.55
- Hits: 8.10
- Walks: 3.48
- Strike Outs: 8.59
- Runs: 5.38
- Hits: 9.14
- Walks: 4.00
- Strike Outs: 7.79
Rays vs Royals MLB Betting Trends
- Rays are 5-0 in their last 5 road games vs. a left-handed starter
- Royals are 0-5 in Duffy’s last 5 home starts vs. a team with a winning record
- Rays are 5-0 SU in their last 5 games when playing on the road against Kansas City
- The total has gone OVER in 5 of Tampa Bay’s last 6 games against an opponent in the American League Central division
- Royals are 2-8 SU in their last 10 games
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Kansas City’s last 15 games at home
Expert Final Score Prediction for Rays vs Royals
Tampa Bay Rays 4 – Kansas City Royals 3