Kansas City Royals (29-30) vs. Oakland Athletics (36-26)
It is the opening contest of a four-game set between the Oakland Athletics and the Kansas City Royals on Thursday. Kansas City enters this series slumping a bit, dropping the first two games of their series against the Los Angeles Angels. They face the Angels on Wednesday night, but this preview was written prior to the conclusion of that contest. The Athletics defeated Arizona on Tuesday, 5-2. They were playing the Diamondbacks on Wednesday, but this preview was written prior to the conclusion of that contest.
Oakland enters as the favorite at -152 while the odds are set for Kansas City at +130. Oakland has won the last two games between these teams, including a 1-0 victory in 11 innings back on September 18, 2019. The Athletics are 7-3 in the last 10 meetings.
Angels Bedevil RoyalsLos Angeles scored a pair of runs in three of the first four innings on their way to an 8-1 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday. Hanser Alberto had the hot game for the Royals, going 2-4 with the only RBI of the game. Kris Bubic was hit hard, allowing six runs on six hits in four innings of work.
Kansas City is averaging 4.36 runs per game, 14th overall while allowing 4.66 runs per contest, 20th in baseball. They are hitting .242 as a team, 10th overall, and are averaging 0.97 home runs per game, 25th in the league.
Kansas City will start right-hander Brady Singer. Singer is 3-5 with a 4.88 ERA in 12 starts. He was solid in his last outing, allowing two runs on eight hits in 5.2 innings in a loss to Minnesota. However, in his two prior starts, he allowed a combined 10 earned runs in 8.1 innings pitched.
Salvador Perez leads Kansas City with 14 homers and 40 RBI. He is hitting .278 this season. Andrew Benintendi is hitting .289 with 27 runs scored and 29 runs driven in. The Royals will be without Adalberto Mondesi.
A’s Down DiamondbacksThe A’s scored all five of their runs in the fourth inning, defeating Arizona, 5-2. Chris Bassitt was outstanding, allowing two earned runs in seven innings pitched. Lou Trivino came on to close out the game for his ninth save of the season. Chad Pinder had a big game for Oakland, going 3-3 with a run and an RBI.
Oakland is averaging 4.36 runs per game, 15th overall while allowing 4.21 runs per game, 13th in the league. They are 21st in team batting average at .232 and ninth in home runs per game at 1.24.
Oakland will start left-hander Cole Irvin. Irvin is 4-7 with a 3.89 ERA in 12 starts. He allowed one run on six hits in six innings in his last outing, but he has also struggled recently, allowing 13 total runs in 15.2 innings in his previous three starts.
Matt Olson leads Oakland with 15 homers and 40 runs driven in. Mark Canha and Ramon Laureano each have 11 homers. Unfortunately, Oakland will be without Laureano who is not expected back soon.
Kansas City Royals:
- 0-4 of their last four games.
- 2-5 in their last seven games on the road area
- 16-46 in their last 62 games against AL West teams.
Los Angeles Angels:
- 5-0 in their last five games as the favorite.
- 5-1 in their last six games.
- 14-3 in the first game of their last 17 series.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
These teams have not played each other since 2019, so it is hard to use recent matchups to determine anything related to this game. What you can be sure of is that Oakland is playing very well and they are at home while Kansas City has been struggling of late.
Both starting pitchers are coming off solid performances after hitting a bit of a skid, so that should keep this game close, which gives Oakland a decided advantage. They are the team that can easily win this game with one swing of the bat, so I will take the Athletics all the way.
Full-Game Total Pick
It would be easy to go over on this game, especially considering the recent slump from both starters. However, these teams have gone under in four of the last five in Oakland, and Kansas City has gone under in six of their last seven games against a team with a winning record. The Athletics have gone under in five straight games at home and have gone under in four of their last five games.
I look for both Cole and Singer to have a big game here. Neither one of these teams is particularly good offensively of late, which should help to keep scoring down. Look for Oakland to win, 4-2.