Erasmo Ramirez (10-4, 3.66 ERA) and the Tampa Bay Rays (63-64) meet Edinson Volquez (11-7, 3.40 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (78-49) in the first of a three-game series at Tropicana Field. The game starts at 7:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 28 and will air on SUN and FSKC.
In his last start, Ramirez pitched 7.0 innings, giving up four runs, striking out four and walking two in a 5-4 loss to the Athletics. Logan Forsythe (.278, 55 Rs, 15 HRs, 53 RBIs, 9 SBs) continued his strong season yesterday, going 2 for 4 with two runs, one home run, and one RBI. The Royals were unsuccessful the last time Volquez pitched. He struggled, going 6.2 innings, allowing six runs and striking out five in an 8-6 loss to the Red Sox. Lorenzo Cain (.311, 78 Rs, 12 HRs, 56 RBIs, 24 SBs) has been hitting the ball well for the Royals, going 2 for 4 yesterday.
The odds are even for this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs.
The Royals have racked up 83 steals on the year, making them one of the most threatening base-running teams in the league. Switching gears to Kansas City's pitching staff, they have the second-lowest ERA in the AL at 3.58. They also allow just 8.3 hits per game, good for fifth in the AL.
The previous four games have all gone Kansas City's way. The Rays will take on a right-hander (Volquez) in this game and have a 41-50 record against right-handed starting pitchers this season. Taking the hill against the Royals will be the right-hander Ramirez. Right-handed starters haven't been a big issue for them as they sport a 53-28 record.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Under
When leading after 7 innings, Kansas City is 31-16, while Tampa Bay is 25-27.
The Royals managed to give up four walks in their last game. They'll have to pick it up against the Rays who are heading in with a 20-15 record against opponents who give up that many walks or more.
When they outhit their opponents, the Rays are 43-18. The Royals have a 62-8 record when outhitting opponents.
Ranking 28th, Tampa Bay is near the bottom of the league in runs, scoring 475 this season. Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at ninth with 558.
Ranking 30th, Kansas City is at the bottom of the league in walks, notching 286 this season. Tampa Bay ranks in the bottom half at 20th with 344.
The Rays are 46-34 in games where they hit one or more home runs. The Royals are 54-21 when they hit at least one homer.