The Kansas City Royals don’t get to beat up on good teams often, but they unloaded on the Tampa Bay Rays for an 8-2 win on Wednesday. The Royals built up a convincing 8-0 lead in the 4th inning before laying off and cruising to the 8-2 final. It was a good day for the Royals and they haven’t been able to enjoy many of them like that this season.
The Royals go into Thursday with a record of 11-20 so it’s a mere consolation prize for them. Despite the easy win, they are going to be fighting for scraps at the bottom of the majors, while the Rays are expected to at least be right there for a wildcard.
The Rays are currently in possession of 1st place in the AL East, but it’s going to be difficult to maintain that once the Yankees get healthy. The Yankees are going to have a lot of power in their lineup that is going to force the Rays to keep up. Realistically I can see them competing for a wildcard by the time September rolls around. Whether they notch a postseason spot remains to be seen, though. By acquiring Tyler Glasnow and Auston Meadows, it definitely helps them out in that race.
Tampa are looking like geniuses at the moment, as they got rid of the Chris Archer contract and grabbed a couple of guys who have already contributed since becoming Rays. Glasnow has been outperforming Archer to this point, so the Rays have been able to forget about their former ace pretty quickly.
Archer didn’t reach his full potential in Tampa, though they might have a good one in Glasnow. Another newcomer, Charlie Morton, will assume the starting duties this afternoon. Danny Duffy is expected to counter for the Royals. Head below for our free Rays vs. Royals pick.
Tampa Bay Rays vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
Charlie Morton has back in the saddle after a tremendous performance against the Boston Red Sox. He led his team to a 2-1 win while being the difference maker. Morton allowed just 2 hits and no runs across 6 innings of play. The Red Sox got a run against the bullpen, though it wasn’t enough for the 2 runs that the Rays scored.
Morton has been perfect thus far this season with a record of 3-0. He was picked up in the offseason after the Astros failed to resign him. They offered him a deal, but he opted to test the open market instead. He landed in a pretty nice spot and the Rays offered him a more attractive offer. Morton was coming off a season in which he threw a 3.13 ERA for the Astros. Good enough to get attention from other teams and he has been performing for the team who ultimately signed him to a deal.
He enters Thursday with a solid ERA of 2.76 and 1.13 WHIP. Nothing at all wrong with that. In three starts on the road, Morton has had zero issues operating as well. He holds an ERA of 1.72 and a WHIP of 1.21 on the road in 15.2 innings. In those 15.2 innings, Morton has given up 3 runs.
Duffy wishes he could say he’s done that well, but he’s more concerned with just staying healthy. That’s been the large theme of his major league career. He has shown to be decent enough to be a fixture in a rotation, but small injuries here and there have kept him from excelling.
Duffy will make just his second start of the year after struggling to get by against the Angels. He finished with an ERA of 5.40 and 1.60 WHIP after surrendering 5 hits and 3 runs in 5 innings. Duffy also walked 3 batters for a very pedestrian opener in 2019. He’s been serviceable against the Rays, as he’s held them to a .254 batting average in 71 at-bats. However, after not much output on Wednesday, expect the offense to bounce back and give Morton some support in this one. Take a look at the Rays for a play on the diamond Thursday in Kansas City.