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Suddenly-Hot Royals Go for Fourth in Row

Rays Try to Bounce Back From Rare Loss

The Kansas City Royals try to extend their three-game winning streak when they take on the host Tampa Bay Rays in the second of a three-game series on Wednesday night. First pitch for this game is set for 7:10 p.m. ET at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Kansas City won the series opener 2-1 on Tuesday night to snap Tampa Bay’s 11-game winning streak. The Royals improved to 23-23 with the win and enter Wednesday’s action in third place in the American League Central, three games behind the second-place Cleveland Indians and five games ahead of the fourth-place Minnesota Twins.

Rich Hill of the Tampa Bay Rays pitches during a game against the Kansas City Royals
Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

Tampa Bay lost for just the first time in 12 games with Tuesday’s setback, falling to 30-20. The Rays are still atop the AL East standings, leading the second-place Boston Red Sox by a half-game and the third-place New York Yankees by a game.

The MLB odds for Wednesday’s game have the Rays with a moneyline of -200, while the Royals are at +170. The over/under for this contest is set at seven runs.

Suddenly Hot

The Royals have turned things around after an 11-game losing streak earlier this month, winning seven of their last 10. Kansas City also got a boost from Tuesday’s season debut of shortstop Adalberto Mondesi, who suffered a right oblique sprain late in spring training that kept him out. Mondesi had two doubles in four at-bats in his first game of the season.

“Just good to have him back,” Royals manager Mike Matheny said after Tuesday’s win. “We know what kind of dangerous player he is as far as what he can do at the plate, what he can do on the bases and defensively, too. It’s exciting to have him back.”

The Royals also have catcher Salvador Perez, who had his first RBI in over a week on Tuesday night. Perez has 28 RBIs and nine home runs, batting .281. First baseman Carlos Santana leads the team with 10 home runs and 32 RBIs.

Left-hander Mike Minor will get the start on Wednesday. He is 3-2 with a 5.14 ERA, 52 strikeouts and 17 walks in 49 innings.

Minor has been up and down, coming off a six-inning stint against Detroit in which he allowed four runs on 10 hits. That came after a start in which he held the Chicago White Sox to one run on just two hits over seven innings, which followed a start against the White Sox in which he allowed five runs on four hits.

Getting Back to Winning

The Rays didn’t expect to win every game the rest of the way, so it’s not a shock the winning streak has come to an end. But Tampa Bay wants to make sure it doesn’t become a losing streak with the Red Sox and Yankees both within a game in the standings.

Right-hander Tyler Glasnow will do his best to prevent that from happening when he takes the mound for Wednesday’s game. Glasnow is 4-2 with a 2.90 ERA, striking out 87 (fourth in baseball) and walking 21 in 62 innings.

The 27-year-old is coming off a no-decision against Toronto last Friday, going 4.2 innings and allowing five runs on nine hits, including two home runs. After giving up just two home runs in his six starts in April, Glasnow has allowed seven in four starts in May.

Yandy Diaz provided the only offense for the Rays on Tuesday with an RBI single. The first baseman now has 15 RBIs. Designated hitter Austin Meadows leads the way with 29 RBIs, hitting nine home runs and 14 doubles.

Catcher Mike Zunino leads Tampa Bay with 11 home runs, including three in his last five games. Outfielder Manuel Margot had a nine-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday when he went hitless in one plate appearance. He has four home runs and 28 RBIs.

Rays Even Series

Tampa Bay is too good to go on a long losing streak, though the Rays aren’t the most dominant team at home, entering Wednesday with an 11-13 record at Tropicana Field. Glasnow should be able to keep the Royals in check in this one, evening up the series with a win.

When making your MLB betting picks, take Tampa Bay to get the win.

Pick: Tampa Bay Rays -200

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