Drew Smyly (3-11, 5.29 ERA) and Ian Kennedy (6-9, 4.23 ERA) are on the hill in the last of a four-game series between the Tampa Bay Rays (43-63) and the Kansas City Royals (51-56) at Tropicana Field. The Rays won the last game 12-0, and Kansas City leads the series 2-1. Action begins at 12:10 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 4 and can be seen on FSKC.
Smyly pitched 6.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out six and walking one in a 6-3 win over the Yankees. Brad Miller (.252, 47 Rs, 18 HRs, 40 RBIs, 4 SBs) had another good game yesterday, going 2 for 4 with three runs, one home run, and one RBI. Kennedy went 7.0 innings, surrendering one run and striking out six in a 2-1 defeat to the Rangers in his last outing.
Tampa Bay is a -138 favorite against Kansas City and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Rays have an overall money line of -2,669 and a record as the favorite of 25-34. Tampa Bay's pitching staff has been doing better against opposing offenses during the last 10 games, only allowing an average of 2.4 runs per game, well under their season average of 4.4. The Rays are the top team in the AL at limiting hits during home games, allowing only 8.2 hits per contest to their opponents this season.
In the other locker room, Kansas City is coming in with an overall money line of -284 and a disappointing record of 25-44 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 2-6 record and a 3-7 record SU. Offensively, the Royals have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 3.8 runs per game by averaging 2.4 during that stretch. Shifting to the pitching staff and defense, the Royals allow just four runs per road game, ranking them third in the AL. When it comes to preventing batters from getting hits, the Royals are fourth in the AL with an average of 8.6 hits allowed per game.
The Royals have controlled the season series, 5-1. The Rays have a 31-49 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Kennedy takes the mound. Smyly (LHP) will be on the hill against the Royals, who have an 11-12 record against left-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - TB, O/U - Under
In their last game, the Rays won by a margin of 12 runs. The Royals are 1-3 in games decided by a margin of 10 runs or more. The Rays have a 3-0 record in blowouts.
For the 13th time this season, the Royals registered at least two errors in a game.
The Rays are coming into this matchup after a high-scoring game where they scored a whopping 12 runs. The Royals have a 0-5 record when opponents score that many runs or more.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 4-39. The Rays have a 9-46 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 27th in home runs, Kansas City has hit 91 this season. Tampa Bay ranks ninth with 137 home runs.
Ranking 15th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.00 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top 10 at sixth with 8.97.
Ranking 25th, Kansas City is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.709). Tampa Bay ranks in the bottom half at 19th with an OPS of .726.
The Royals are 32-45 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Rays are 23-56 when they allow at least one homer.