The Kansas City Royals take on the Tampa Bay Rays. Check out our MLB odds series for our Royals Rays prediction and pick.

Max Castillo gets the call for the Royals, while Luis Patino gets the start for the Rays.

Max Castillo is familiar with the Rays. He previously played for the Toronto Blue Jays and pitched against the Rays in early July. Castillo was primarily a middle or long reliever with the Blue Jays. Given the disruptions to Toronto’s rotation with the injury to Hyun-Jin Ryu and then another injury to Ross Stripling, plus the ineffectiveness of Yusei Kikuchi, Castillo was able to get some work with the Jays in June and early July. It’s also worth noting that the Jays and Rays played a five-game series in early July, a product of the altered schedule due to the delay in the season. That doubleheader pinched the Jays’ rotation, and Castillo was able to get some innings against Tampa Bay as a result. It will be interesting to see how long the Royals are willing or able to ride him in this game. Will he be an opener, or will the Royals try to get four or five innings out of him? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Luis Patino has made only three appearances for the Rays this season, one in April and two in July. He hasn’t made an appearance in three and a half weeks. What he will do in this game is very hard to predict. If history is an indication, though, Patino’s ERA of nearly seven runs does not bode well for Tampa Bay.

Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Royals-Rays MLB odds.

MLB Odds: Royals-Rays Odds

Kansas City Royals: +1.5 (-130)

Tampa Bay Rays: -1.5 (+108)

Over: 8 (-102)

Under: 8 (-120)

Why The Royals Could Cover the Spread

Luis Patino is a pitcher the Royals should enjoy facing. At the very least, the Royals know they aren’t facing Cy Young contender Shane McClanahan or near-perfect-game artist Drew Rasmussen, who threw eight perfect innings against the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday before having his perfecto get broken up in the ninth. If one has to face the Rays, Patino is the pitcher one would instantly choose as a preferred starter.

That point aside, the Rays just finished an emotional three-game series in New York against the Yankees. They played an extra-inning game on Wednesday and lost on a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the 10th. This is certainly a potential letdown spot for the Rays. They’re a good team playing generally good baseball. They did have to fly out to New York on Sunday, then come back to St. Petersburg for this game. Even though they are better than the Royals, the travel schedule and the pitching matchup could bite them in this contest. Also remember that the Royals won a series against the Rays earlier this season in Kansas City.

Why The Rays Could Cover the Spread

After losing on Wednesday to the Yankees in heartbreaking fashion, the Rays know they have to get back on the beam and take care of an inferior Kansas City team. The Rays also know the Royals won a series in head-to-head competition a few weeks ago. Everyone in the Tampa Bay dugout knows that losing to the Royals is not acceptable and that an appropriate response needs to be made in this series. The Rays are going to get a few injured players back in their lineup in the coming days. The reinforcements are going to arrive, so the current roster knows it needs to hold down the fort.

Final Royals-Rays Prediction & Pick

If you’re unsure about picking the winner, go with the over. Two mediocre and generally untested pitchers in a travel game, with the Rays’ hitters knowing they need to show up.

Final Royals-Rays Prediction & Pick: Over 8