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When the Kansas City Royals visit the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night, expect Zach Eflin of the Rays to pick up the win when all is said and done. The Rays have been dominant at home this season, coming into this game with a 32-9 record at Tropicana Field. And Eflin’s numbers at home suggest that he is more than capable of leading his team to a 33rd win on their home turf on Friday.
So far this season, Eflin has a total record of 8-3, with an overall ERA of 3.26. But his numbers are vastly better at home than they are on the road, as he is a perfect 7-0 at home with an ERA of just 1.85 in his seven home starts. Here, he should get the better of a Royals team that has struggled all season long, as they have the second-worst run differential in baseball at -117 for the year.
Kansas City has not been any better on the road than they have been at home on the season. The Royals are 10-28 at home on the year, and 11-26 on the road, making for a miserable 2023 season as a whole. Expect that misery to continue here against Eflin and for the Rays starter to pick up his ninth victory on the season.
Our next MLB prop bet of the day for Friday is for the Boston Red Sox to score first against the Chicago White Sox on Friday night. Boston has been doing a good job of drawing first blood on the road of late, and they will continue to do so here. Given the offensive differences between these teams, Boston should have the advantage in this prop market even if they do not score in the top of the first inning.
So far this year, the Red Sox have scored 386 runs to Chicago’s 311 on the season. Boston has outscored the White Sox by about a run per game on the season to this point. Look for that edge to be a huge factor in this prop bet, as the more explosive Red Sox should be able to get on the board first in this all-Sox contest.
Then there is the obvious factor that comes into play in this prop, as the Red Sox bat first in each inning, most importantly the top of the first. They will have the first crack at scoring in each inning, meaning they will always have more at-bats than the White Sox in this matchup. If all else fails, this will be the difference maker as the Red Sox should cash this prop bet while playing in the South side of Chicago.
Finally, look for Shane Bieber to have a big strikeout night on Friday, as the Cleveland Guardians host the Milwaukee Brewers. Bieber is not exactly a big strikeout pitcher, as he has struck out just 69 batters in his 95 innings of work so far this season. But he runs into a very favorable strikeout matchup here against a Brewers team that has made an ugly habit of striking out this season.
So far on the year, the Brewers have struck out more times than all but five teams in Major League Baseball. Their bats have been dismal for most of this season, as the Brew Crew rank 29th in team batting average and 26th in runs scored. In short, the Brewers are not making enough contact and they are not hitting for average well enough to avoid strikeouts in a game like this one.
Bieber, meanwhile, is capable of racking up the strikeouts even if it is not his specialty. He recently struck out nine members of the Houston Astros in a game, despite the danger that their lineup possesses. He could very well do the same in this game against a much less effective lineup in that of the Brewers.
Jay Sanin is a sports bettor and writer from New York. He has been handicapping since the moment he was old enough to gamble legally, with his specialties being niche sports like the WNBA and XFL. He’s been told he has a voice for radio. He also has a face for radio.More info on Jay Sanin
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