Wednesday, April 9, 2014 | 8:23 a.m.
It’s a third straight baseball pick to start the week for the Play of the Day, which uses odds from the South Point and features a $10,000 starting bankroll.
Action on the diamond hasn’t helped the three competing sports writers dig out of their collective hole yet. So far, Play of the Day is just 3-4 on baseball but coming off of a tough extra-innings loss on Tuesday.
Tampa Bay Rays minus-110 at Kansas City Royals: $330 to win $300
The Rays had to face a totally unfamiliar pitcher who’s one of the hardest throwers in baseball last night. It should feel like a treat to swap that out for a soft-tossing familiar foe tonight.
Kansas City rookie Yordano Ventura was as lethal as advertised in his debut against Tampa Bay, giving up just two hits and striking out six while walking none in six innings of work. The Rays still managed a 1-0 win with a ninth-inning rally but their bats should warm against Jeremy Guthrie, whom they’ve hit well against over the last several seasons.
Tampa Bay counters with Jake Odorizzi, whom the odds might undervalue. The 24-year old, traded by the Royals to the Rays as part of the James Shields deal two years ago, won the fifth spot in the rotation despite heated competition in spring training.
He kept pitching well in his season debut, holding Texas scoreless in six innings of a 8-1 victory. The Royals’ lineup is a major step down in class from the Rangers’.
In fact, the Rangers have scored nearly double the runs of the Royals this season. Kansas City ranks last in the American League with 20 runs.
Much like their bats, the Royals aren’t much to fear. Not when Guthrie is on the mound.
Standings: Bern (18-13, $10,260), Keefer (15-15, $9,357), Brewer (11-17-3, $6,280)