Royals vs. Rays MLB Best Bet: Lack of Tallies in Tampa

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We have a typically full 15-game slate of Major League Baseball betting matchups for Friday with all the betting action coming at night. We are here with the three plays we feel have the most betting value at the current MLB odds provided by top-rated sportsbooks.

These value-bets are based mostly on our proprietary model, which favors a total in the Royals vs. Rays matchup on Friday night.

For additional MLB best bets from our experts:

And if you’re looking for even more value picks, make sure to visit our YouTube channel. This time, our expert covered Friday’s Cubs vs. Cardinals and Astros vs. Athletics games.

Top MLB Pick: Under 8 (-110) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 8 (-110)
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Kansas City Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays

Friday, May 24, 2024 – 06:50 PM ET at Tropicana Field

We are projection a low-scoring affair and are betting the Under tonight with southpaw Tyler Alexander expected to follow an opener for the Rays hosting Seth Lugo and the Royals.

Pitched Well Since Rough Start

Alexander is scheduled to follow right-handed opener Shawn Armstrong for Tampa Bay, forcing the Royals into some interesting lineup choices with a lefty bulking after a righty. After getting roughed up in his first two outings of the season, Alexander has pitched well since then as both a starter and a bulk pitcher.

While Tyler still stands with a 5.17 ERA and 4.56 xFIP, he has allowed three runs or less in six of his last seven appearances. While not overpowering, he now has an eclectic mix of five pitches.

He has thrown at least 11% of the time after more than doubling his slider usage to 18.2% after just 8.8% last year. It also helps that Kansas City is a touch below average vs. left-handers this season with a wRC+ of 98.

Good Enough vs. Declining Offense

Granted, we do not think Lugo is nearly as good as his 7-1 record and 1.79 ERA. But while his xFIP is considerably higher at 3.56, that is still very good as it means he projects to an ERA in that area. Two things he has always done well are not walking many batters and keeping the ball in the yard,

Those traits have continued this year with the walk rate at 1.79/9 and the home run rate allowed at 0.89/9. Granted the strikeout rate is rather modest at 7.99/9, but that has been offset by nearly a 2% spike in his soft-contact rate to 15.8% from 13,9% in 2023.

It also helps that Seth is facing a declining offense. The Rays have gone from having an elite offense that was one of the best in baseball last year to currently being below average against right-handers with a wRC+ of 96.

The Pick

So, with both offenses at below average offensive splits tonight and two competent pitchers, go Under at Tropicana Field on Friday.

Predicted Score: Royals 4 – Rays 2

MLB Pick: Under 8 (-110) at BetOnline

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Under 8 (-110)
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*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.