The K.C. Royals and Tampa Bay Rays meet early Thursday for a matchup between Jason Vargas and Jake Odorizzi. The Royals have been anything but the same team we’ve seen since they won the World Series. They finished 81-81 last year, as their journey to the top of the AL Central came to an end.
The Royals have continued to regress, and are currently looking at a record ten games under .500. For a team who epitomized the word clutch and confidence, the Royals have been knocked off their thrown.
The Royals got hot at the right time. They had a bullpen that wasn’t getting touched. K.C. parlayed it into a World Series, which certainly makes up for their rather lackluster play of late. The Tigers and Indians have reached the World Series in the last decade, but don’t have a championship to show for it. The Royals do have the rings to show off for their World Series, though.
Vargas has been a bright spot for the Royals this season. There are many other teams who are taking a look at what he’s been doing and wanting a piece of it. Vargas should be a hot commodity come the trade deadline.
The Royals would probably like to get some prospects for him, as they are sort of in what some would consider a rebuilding stage. I wouldn’t blame them, I don’t think his high ceiling is going to last too much longer. The Rays will counter with Jake Odorizzi, who has been playing flawlessly in his own right. Head below to get our free Royals vs. Rays pick at The Sports Geek.
K.C. Royals vs. Tampa Bay Rays Pick
Jason Vargas (4-1, 1.19 ERA) vs. Jake Odorizzi (2-1, 2.88 ERA)
The Rays have been trying to get over the hump the last couple of seasons. As they flirt with .500, there is still work to be done in Tampa before they become a playoff team. Getting solid performances out of Archer and Odorizzi are imperative for that to come to fruition. Odorizzi has been frustrating opposing hitters, as his ERA has been an impressive 2.88 this season. His WHIP has been really strong, with a mark of 0.76. In other words, he’s had quite a few 1-2-3 innings in 2017.
Vargas hasn’t given up much, either. Note that his ERA is only 1.19, with a 0.89 WHIP. He was played a crucial role in their run to the World Series, and thus far in 2017, he’s been playing the best baseball of his career. Is somebody looking for one last fat contract? He’s shown he is deserving of a new contract, anyway. But who is going to want to pay a guy who’s been pitching since 2005? Like I said, he’s hit his ceiling, and it can only be down from here. Nevertheless, he’s been making the most of things in 2017. Runs should come at a premium in this one. We suggest a play on the UNDER for Thursday night for our MLB pick.
PICK: UNDER 7.5 (-120)