Edinson Volquez (8-4, 3.48 ERA) and Alex Colome (3-4, 4.70 ERA) take the hill in the first of a four-game series between the Kansas City Royals (46-33) and the Tampa Bay Rays (43-41) at Kauffman Stadium. Action begins at 8:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Jul. 6 and can be seen on SunSports and FSN-KC.
Volquez pitched 5.0 innings in his last outing, surrendering five runs, striking out eight and walking one in a 6-5 defeat to the Astros. Colome went 7.0 innings, surrendering five runs, striking out three and walking one in an 8-1 defeat to the Indians in his most recent start. Logan Forsythe (.281, 32 Rs, 8 HRs, 34 RBIs, 7 SBs) went 1 for 5 yesterday with one run and two RBIs.
Kansas City is a -140 favorite against Tampa Bay and the Over/Under (O/U) for this game is sitting at seven runs. The Royals have an overall money line of +1,001 and a record as the favorite of 25-17. Opposing offenses have been stifled by the Royals, who have a team ERA of only 3.53. The Royals are the third-best team in the AL at limiting hits to their opponents, allowing only 8.0 hits per game so far this season.
In games where it is the underdog, Tampa Bay has a 21-22 record and an overall money line of -8. They have been on a bit of a dry streak over their last 10 games. They managed a 0-5 record when playing as the underdog. Offensively, the Rays have really sputtered in the last 10 games. They have decreased their season average of 3.6 runs per game by averaging 2.5 during that stretch. The Rays are an excellent base stealing team with 60 stolen bases, ranking fifth in the MLB. Tampa Bay's pitching staff has set the standard for its league, with an AL-low 3.43 ERA. When it comes to preventing batters from getting on base, the Rays are one of the best in the league with a WHIP of 1.20 for the season.
The Royals have a 32-20 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when Colome takes the mound. Volquez (RHP) will be on the hill against the Rays, who have a 27-33 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
Tampa Bay has won 50% (16-16) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won 63% (19-11) of its games when taking a late lead.
The Royals are coming off of a weak pitching game where they recorded two strikeouts. The Rays have a record of 2-0 when opponents' pitchers have that many strikeouts or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 4-27. The Rays have a 7-26 record when opponents outhit them.
Kansas City ranks near the bottom of the league at 27th when it comes to home runs, hitting 58 this season. Tampa Bay ranks in the bottom half at 16th with 72.
Ranking 14th, Tampa Bay is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 8.01 per game. Kansas City ranks in the top five at second with 9.17.
Ranking 23rd, Tampa Bay is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.682). Kansas City ranks in the top half at 14th with an OPS of .718.
When the Rays allow at least one home run, they are 18-30. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 19-24 record.