Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#5919 Kansas City Royals vs.
#5920 Tampa Bay Rays
Sunday, August 21, 2022 at 1:40pm EDT
Written by Adam Rauzino

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The Kansas City Royals (49-72, 56-65 RL, 61-59-1 O/U) take on the Tampa Bay Rays (63-55, 57-61 RL, 54-55-9 O/U) in the three-game series finale on Sunday afternoon. The Royals will have veteran Zack Greinke on the mound. The Rays will likely reply with Ryan Yarbrough. The season series is even at 3-3.

Greinke Tagged with Eighth Loss

The Royals will give Zack Greinke the nod for the 21st time of the season. Greinke was solid last time out, allowing three runs (one earned) in six innings pitched against the Twins but took the loss to fall to 4-8 on the season. The veteran right-hander has been effective recently, posting a 2.65 ERA this month, and has logged a 4.13 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP in 104.2 innings of work on the season. Greinke is 4-6 with a 3.36 ERA in 96.1 career innings against the Rays.

The Royals are struggling on this road trip. They were swept in Minnesota and dropped the two games of this series. The bats are slumping, plating zero or one run in three out of their last four games entering Saturday. They are 3-7 in their last ten games.

Nicky Lopez has been a tough out against the Rays' pitching, going 8 for 19 with a .778 OPS. The young second baseman only has 15 RBIs accompanied by a .574 OPS on the season. Lopez is only hitting .230 this month. The Royals' offense has been one of the worst since trading key hitters.

The Royals are scoring an average of 3.83 runs per game, ranking them 25th overall. The pitching staff has filed a 4.66 team ERA, placing them 28th in the big leagues.

Yarbrough Starts, Rays Climb Wildcard Standings

The Rays will have Ryan Yarbrough on the hill for the series finale. Yarbrough was stellar in his previous start, tossing four shutout innings against the Yankees, and finally earned his first win to bring his record to 1-7. The veteran left-hander is inconsistent but has been solid recently. He has posted a subpar 4.75 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP in 60.2 innings of action. Yarbrough allowed three runs in four innings against the Royals last month and has a 5.30 ERA in 18.2 career innings against them. 

Tampa Bay knows how to win games in late August. They have now won six out of their last eight games and every game is huge considering the slim margin for error in the AL Wildcard standings. The Rays have won three consecutive series thanks to the pitching. 

Francisco Mejia is a solid 5 for 12 with two RBIs against the Royals this season. The 26-year-old catcher is having a promising season, delivering 27 RBIs and a .717 OPS in only 67 games. Mejia features a dazzling .878 OPS on the month.

The Rays are posting 4.13 runs on the year, landing them 23rd overall. The pitching has been solid recently and has amassed a 3.39 team ERA, good for fourth in the Major Leagues.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

Insiders Status:


The Royals continue to stumble, losing seven out of their last nine games. The Rays are in a groove, recording the victory in six out of their last eight clashes including series wins against the Orioles and Yankees. The pitching has been remarkable. They have limited the Royals to three or fewer runs in all three games of this series. 

Furthermore, Royals’ starter Zack Greinke is a completely different pitcher on the road. The veteran is 0-6 with a horrible 6.48 ERA in his 10 road starts. Rays’ starter Ryan Yarbrough has been effective recently,  conceding only five runs in his last 16.1 innings of work. 

Prediction: Tampa Bay Rays -1.5

Full-Game Total Pick

Insiders Status:


I am going with the over here. As mentioned, Greinke has issues on the road and the Rays bats are clicking, accumulating 25 runs in their last five games including 14 runs in this series.

In addition, while Yarbrough should contain the Royals, he is far from perfect. KC scored three runs in four innings against him last month and Yarbrough has logged a poor 5.30 career ERA against the Royals. He has a weak 5.40 ERA at the Trop this season. With that said, I expect most of the offense to occur from the Rays. The over is also 4-0 in Greinke's last four starts. 

Prediction: Over

Written By Adam Rauzino , "Adam Rauzino"

Adam has been a sports fanatic his entire life, closely following hockey, baseball, basketball, and football. He enjoys analyzing various stats, as well as studying Sabermetrics and analytics to take his picks to a whole new level. Adam has a passion for writing about various sports as well as personal finance and being an expert sports bettor. Prior to bringing his talents here to Winners and Whiners, Adam graduated with a diploma in business marketing and business finance. You would do yourself a huge favor by following Adam on a daily basis.