The Kansas City Royals continue in the efforts to knock off the No. 1-ranked team in the AL West division in Friday’s clash with the Oakland Athletics. A solid five-game run came crashing to a halt for the Royals after dropping back-to-back losses to the Minnesota Twins before going on and getting swept by the Los Angeles Angels. Meanwhile, the A’s have won their last three straight series meetings against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies and Seattle Mariners. Brady Singer has been given the green light to start on the mound at pitcher for the Royals against A’s lefty Cole Irvin.
Royals end five-game losing streakIt took guts and a gem of a pitching performance from Mike Minor, but the Royals waltzed right into Oakland coliseum and handed the A’s a loss in the opener on Thursday night. It was another game where the offensive home struggles for the A’s continued, while the Royals played their way to an upset victory in the first head-to-head meeting between the two teams.
Coming into the game, the Royals’ pitching rotation was throwing an 8.25 ERA in their previous three games. So few thought they could actually flip the switch on the road against a tough A’s team.
But that’s exactly what they did.
No one is expecting Brady Singer to pull a Mike Minor in Friday’s game, but they do need him to be effective in keeping the A’s bats in check. For the most part, the A’s have already been silenced at home with the team sitting near the bottom of the league with the third-worst batting average (.232) and .680 OPS. They are clearly not the same team in their home building.
Singer is throwing with a 4.88 ERA and 1.46 WHIP on the season. Of course, none of that will matter if the offense continues to break out for a second straight game. The bats were thunderous against the A’s in the opener, and it should only add to the confidence of the Royals. It’s a team that came into the first game averaging only 7.34 hits on the road.
If they continue to open the offensive floodgates, there’s going to be all sorts of problems for the A’s.
A’s fall apart lateThe A’s seemingly had Thursday’s game in hand until Frankie Montas got lit up in the seventh inning. Then Jesus Luzardo got in line right behind him for the struggle-bus in the eighth, and it was basically game over for the A’s.
They clearly have to do better than one run on offense, but they also have to be able to depend on the relief help to hold up down the stretch. The home struggles have lingered for the A’s throughout the season, and it could cost them this series if they don’t get it together.
Left-handed pitcher Cole Irvin (3.89 ERA) has been pegged as the starter for Friday’s game against the Royals. After an ugly three-game run, he recently bounced back on the mound by shutting down the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. So he should come into this game with some confidence with it being at Oakland Coliseum following his gem of a performance.
Kansas City has come up short more often than not offensively, but that wasn’t the case in the face of adversity in the first game. That team stepped to the plate and wasn’t afraid of the moment, especially late in the eighth inning, when they got a pair of homers from Andrew Benintendi and Jorge Soler.
Only time will tell if that effort is sustainable for this series.
The top supporting trends for this game, found on Covers.com, are:
- Royals are 38-82 in their last 120 road games against a team with a winning record.
- Royals are 69-153 in their last 222 games against a team with a winning record.
- Royals are 2-5 in their last 7 road games against a left-handed starter.
- Royals are 16-47 in their last 63 games against teams in the American League West.
- Athletics are 39-15 in their last 54 home games against a team with a losing record.
- Athletics are 5-2 in their last 7 home games.
- Athletics are 36-15 in their last 51 Friday games.
- Athletics are 46-12 in their last 58 games against teams in the American League Central.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The A’s got a rough start to the series, but it doesn’t mean they can’t turn it around.
Kansas City still has a losing road record, and they haven’t consistently shown the all-around performance they put on display on Thursday night. Not only did they hold the A’s to only one run, but they also heaped six runs on the board with an offensive lineup that came into the contest averaging only 3.66 runs per game on the road.
That sort of performance isn’t sustainable for this Royals team. The A’s will do better offensively with Brady Singer on the mound. He’ll be the punching bag for the frustrations boiling over from Oakland’s series-opening loss to Mike Minor. His worst work has come on the road this season, which plays right into the hands of the A’s.
Cole Irvin won’t be perfect, but he’ll be good enough to help put the Royals away on Friday night. I’m rolling with the A’s in the rematch.
Full-Game Total Pick
The A’s got shut down at home in Thursday’s opener.
They couldn’t get anything going offensively, and they looked completely lost at times throughout the game. However, they’re a good baseball team, and they’ll have a worthy response in Friday’s rematch. Outside of the series opener, the Royals’ pitching rotation has been an absolute mess in recent outings. The team is allowing an average 4.68 runs per game on the road this season. Oakland will eat at the plate against a Royals team still with too many pitfalls to count. The Royals will moonwalk back to struggling when it matters most. Give me the over in this one.