This is the final game of the series between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Kansas City Royals. The Rays took the first two games by scores of 4-1 and 14-7 and look to complete the sweep today. Michael Wacha ($7,200) takes the mound for the Rays while Jakob Junis ($6,400) goes for the Royals. The temperature is expected to be around 44 degrees with clear skies and winds blowing out to right at 9.0 mph. DraftKings Sportsbook has the total set at 7.5 runs with the Rays favored.
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Michael Wacha ($16,200 CP) - In 15.0 innings, Wacha has allowed 12 hits, seven earned runs, one home run and seven walks. In that span, he’s also struck out 20 batters. The swinging strike rate is a robust 15.9%, while the FIP is 2.67 compared to the 4.20 ERA. He faces a Royals team that is 11th in strikeouts and 22nd in ISO against right-handed pitching.
Jakob Junis ($15,300 CP) - I like both pitchers in this one. Junis has pitched very well to open the season. In 12.0 innings, he’s allowed eight hits, two earned runs, zero home runs, has walked three and has struck out 15 batters. The swinging strike rate is 12.4%. His career rate is 9.6%, so I have a little skepticism that this is real, but it is what it is for now. The BABIP is a little low, while the strand rate is higher than normal, yet his FIP is 1.32, so I will side with the good production continuing. The Rays are middle of the pack in both strikeouts and ISO against right-handed pitching.
Value UTIL Plays
Editor’s Note: Rays OF Manuel Margot is not in the lineup for tonight’s game vs. the Royals.
Kevin Kiermaier ($4,600) - Kiermaier will likely bat seventh, so that stinks. With that said, he’s cheap and, if I want to pick on one pitcher, I’m going against Junis because many of his numbers indicate that he’s been the recipient of good fortune. On the season, Kiermaier has a .048 ISO, and is slashing only .238/.273/.286, but he owns a career .165 ISO and he’s shown flashes of speed and power. He could get into one or steal a base.
Manuel Margot ($5,800) - I’m staying on the Rays side for bats. Margot bats fifth and he has two home runs and two stolen bases on the season. His ISO is .189 and he could be in line for a little bit of good luck as his BABIP is just .289. While Junis is slightly less effective against left-handed batters, he does give up more home runs to righties. As with Kiermaier, Margot has many paths to scoring points, whether it be hitting one over the wall or being a menace on the base paths.
Carlos Santana ($9,200) - Santana has three home runs on the season and, as usual, the plate discipline numbers have been fantastic. The walk rate is 14.9%, while the strikeout rate is 16.4%. Though he’s hit two of his home runs against right-handed pitching, he’s slashing a paltry .143/.295/.343 within the split compared to .429/.478/.714 against lefties. Throughout his career, he’s been better from the right-side of the plate. Wacha has been more effective against lefties throughout his career.
I see a low-scoring game with pitching dominating the slate. The game will likely be decided by the bullpen, with the Royals having the 11th-highest FIP and the Rays with the 14th-highest FIP. First team to three wins.
Final Score: Tampa Bay 3, Kansas City 1
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