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Kansas City Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays: betting odds and predictions for May 26

Publish Date: 05/26/2024
Fact checked by: Allan Howe

The Kansas City Royals have been one of the more surprising teams this year and are coming off seven consecutive victories making them one of the hottest teams in the Majors right now. They will be looking to continue their torrid pace when they take on the Tampa Bay Rays in this road matchup on Sunday afternoon. With that said, We take a look at this matchup to make a Royals-Rays prediction and pick.

(Photo by Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

Kansas City Royals

Kansas City Royals (34-19)Β is one of the hottest teams in the Major Leagues right now with a 34-19 record and sitting in second place in the AL Central just 1.5 games behind the Cleveland Guardians. They are currently on a 7-game winning streak as they head into the series finale looking to sweep the Tampa Bay Rays.

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In the first two games of their series with the Rays, the Royals scored 15 runs while limiting the Rays to just 5 runs. While the Royals bats have been hot, it's their pitching that has been dominant.

Over their last 5 games, their pitching staff has an ERA of 2.30 while holding the opposition to just a .179 batting average.

Also, the Royals have been swinging a hot bat over their last 5 games. They are scoring 8.4 runs per 9 innings with a .315 batting average. They have been very efficient against right-handed pitching as well with 6.3 runs per 9 innings and a .271 batting average over their last 5 games.

They will be taking on right-handed pitcher Taj Bradley (1-2, 4.00 ERA) who was lit up by the Boston Red Sox in his last outing. H gave up 5 earned runs on 6 hits and 2 home runs in 7 innings pitched.

If Bradley loses his control like he did against Boston, the Royals will make him pay for it.

If the Royals' pitching can keep them in this game, they have the chance to get to Bradley making it 8 wins in a row having them surging at the right time as they look to take over first place in the AL Central.

Tampa Bay Rays

Tampa Bay Rays (25-28)Β have been struggling this year as they are just three games below .500 on the season. They also have now lost six straight games on the heels of their pitching that has been getting tuned up allowing 33 runs during their losing streak.

Their batting hasn't been doing much better either only amassing 14 runs over their losing streak. Now, the Rays will be looking to stop the bleeding against the red-hot Royals in the series finally looking to avoid getting swept for the second straight series at home.

If there is a game for the Rays to get back on track finally it would be this game when they send flame thrower Taj Bradley on the mound.

While he got rocked in his last game against the Boston Red Sox giving up 2 home runs and 5 earned runs on the day, he started the game striking out the side in each of the first three innings but once he had to go through the lineup a second time is when he started to unravel.

Bradley will have to do a better job with his control and not gassing himself out early in the game so that he can keep this Kansas City Royals lineup in check.

As for the bats of the Rays, they finally get a favorable matchup when the Royals send Michael Wacha (4-4, 4.45 ERA) to the mound as he's not the same pitcher he once was when he was the ace for the St. Louis Cardinals.

However, Wacha has put in three quality starts getting the win in three straight games heading into this road matchup with the Rays but his metrics show that this will be a tough matchup. Wacha has had trouble getting swings and misses this with only 9.4% of his strikes being swinging strikes.

He also has a 1.3 home run per 9 innings rate when pitching on the road which bodes well for the power bats of the Rays.

If the Rays can put the ball in play against Wacha they should have no problem getting after him early in this game. So, as long as Bradley can do is best at limiting the Royals and pitch deep into this game the Rays can finally stop the bleeding and get back on track.

KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS. TAMPA BAY RAYS FANDUEL ODDS FOR MAY 26TH

MONEY LINE

  • KANSAS CITY ROYALS: +112
  • TAMPA BAY RAYS: -132

SPREAD

  • KANSAS CITY ROYALS: +1.5 (-205)
  • TAMPA BAY RAYS: -1.5 (+168)

OVER/UNDER (TOTAL)

  • OVER: 7.5 (-122)
  • UNDER: 7.5 (+100)

BEST ODDS FOR KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS. TAMPA BAY RAYS

  • The Tampa Bay Rays are the favorites against the Kansas City Royals. BetRivers currently has the best odds at (-124)

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  • The Kansas City Royals are the underdogs in this matchup. DraftKings currently has the best odds atΒ  (+114)

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  • BetRivers currently has the best odds for the total, which is set at 7.5 (-113) for the over, and (-107) for the under

KANSAS CITY ROYALS VS. TAMPA BAY RAYS INJURY REPORT

KANSAS CITY ROYALS INJURY REPORT INJURY REPORT

  • MICHAEL MASSEY - QUES SUN - BACK
  • JORDAN LYLES - OUT - PERSONAL
  • JOSH TAYLOR - OUT - BICEP
  • KRIS BUBIC - OUT ELBOW
  • KYLE WRIGHT - OUT FOR SEASON - SHOULDER

TAMPA BAY RAYS INJURY REPORT

  • JOSH LOWE - OUT - OBLIQUE
  • ZACH EFLIN - OUT - BACK
  • JACOB WAGUESPACK - OUT - SHOULDER
  • COLIN POCHE - OUT - BACK
  • TAYLOR WALLS - OUT - HIP
  • WANDER FRANCO - OUT - SUSPENSION
  • JEFFREY SPRINGS - OUT - ELBOW
  • DREW RASMUSSEN - OUT - ELBOW
  • SHANE MCCLANAHAN - OUT FOR SEASON - ELBOW

FINAL ROYALS-RAYS PICK & PREDICTION

The Kansas City Royals are rolling right now and it's hard to go against the hot hand in this matchup. However, given the way the Royals have been playing compared to how the Rays have been playing this line doesn't make much sense especially when 68% of the public's money is on the Royals as the underdogs in this matchup.

Expect Bradley to do what the rest of this pitching staff couldn't do and that is keep this Royals team in check.

That would lead way to the Rays getting to Wacha and not letting up as they finally stop their losing streak and get a much-needed win before heading into the new series next week.

FINAL ROYALS-RAYS PICK & PREDICTION: TAMPA BAY RAYS (-132)

Check our FanDuel sportsbook review to find out more about FanDuel's rating, bonuses, betting margins, and other helpful details.

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Allan Howe
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Dan Tracey
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