The Tuesday MLB best bet will be in the game between the Royals and the Rays.
After hitting 10 straight MLB best bets heading into Tuesday, we’ll go for 11 with the 7:10 PM ET game between the Tampa Bay Rays (60-54) and the Kansas City Royals (49-66). Tampa Bay is at home and the online sportsbooks have made them the large -183 betting favorites for this clash. Tracked MLB bettors are backing the Rays at a 75% consensus and we’ll let you know if the masses are going to be on the right side tonight.
Star right-hander James Shields (10-9, 1.06 WHIP, 2.95 ERA) takes the mound for the Rays, and Tampa Bay has defeated the Royals in 6 of the last 8 when this guy starts. You know Shields will go deep into games, but there are some concerns. He’s allowed 14 earned runs over his last 3 starts against Kansas City and has also pitched poorly in 2 of his last 4 games started this year. The Royals are hitting .272 over their last 10 games but have historically struggled badly to score runs in this stadium.
Opposing Shields will be veteran left-hander Jeff Francis (4-11, 1.35 WHIP, 4.48 ERA) for the Royals. Francis hasn’t always been sharp this season but Kansas City has taken home wins in his last 3 starts. Francis was marginal in his only career start against Tampa Bay (5.0 innings pitched, 9 hits, 2 walks, 3 earned runs), but is going against a Rays squad that has hit a poor .239 over their last 10 games. Tampa Bay hits just .245 against southpaws this season and they just really don’t have the offensive pop to put up big runs on a regular basis.
Kansas City has had the better bullpen this year but they’ve also been struggling to get key outs recently. I don’t particular trust either group of relief pitchers, but neither squad is horrible either so I doubt we’ll see a ton of late runs. I’ve been winning at huge underdogs during our best bet winning streak but I just have a bad feeling about not playing the Royals here. Instead, I think the safest bet is to go with the under as the total is set high enough for action at 7.5 runs. Shields will pitch quality innings and Francis is savvy enough to get outs against a team that is hitting as poorly as Tampa Bay.