Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#1977 Oakland Athletics vs.
#1978 Kansas City Royals
Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at 8:10pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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The Oakland Athletics will travel to Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday night for an American League showdown against the Kansas City Royals.

Despite owning a strong 77-66 overall record, Oakland has fallen back into third place in the competitive American League West race, seven games back of the division-leading Houston Astros. Meanwhile, Kansas City sits in fourth place in the AL Central with a 65-78 overall mark.

Can the Royals escape with a win at home over the A’s on Wednesday night?

Manaea seeks to continue success vs. Kansas City

Left-hander Sean Manaea is scheduled to toe the rubber for the Athletics in the second game of their series at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday. Manaea is trying to finish the season strong after posting an unsightly 9.90 ERA in five August starts. The A’s lefty is fresh off of back-to-back quality starts. Last time out, he spun seven innings of one-run ball in a win over the Chicago White Sox, striking out nine batters and walking just one on the night. Manaea enters with a 9-9 overall record and a respectable 3.79 ERA in 28 starts.

Despite his recent struggles, Manaea has flashed signs of a breakout in 2021. He has fanned a career-high 10.00 batters per nine innings of work while exhibiting his usual pinpoint command. He has walked just 2.13 batters per nine while throwing 66.3 percent of his first pitches for strikes.

Manaea has made two career starts versus Kansas City, going 1-0 with a sparkling 1.46 ERA in those contests. Per Baseball Savant, current Royals are batting only .212 in 36 plate appearances off of the A’s southpaw heading into Wednesday’s matchup.

Minor hoping for strong finish to disappointing 2021 season

Veteran left-hander Mike Minor is expected to get the call for Game 2 of this series in Kansas City. The 33-year-old southpaw is 8-12 with a disappointing 5.05 ERA in 28 starts this season but he’s flashed some signs of life down the stretch and comes in with three quality starts in his last five outings. In fact, Minor has pitched into the sixth inning or later in seven of his last nine appearances. Last time out, the Royals lefty spun six scoreless frames in a no-decision versus the Baltimore Orioles. Despite his best efforts, Minor comes in riding a personal four-game skid and hasn’t won a decision on the mound since way back on July 28.

While Minor’s overall numbers might not show it, the veteran left-hander hasn’t pitched all that poorly this year. He’s struck out a healthy 8.45 batters and walked just 2.33 batters per nine innings of work in 2021. However, he’s been hurt by the long ball (1.47 HR/9) and has struggled with runners on base, stranding only 66.4 percent of his baserunners for the season.

The Royals’ left-hander comes into Wednesday’s appearance with 11 appearances and eight starts under his belt against the A’s. Minor has finished 3-5 with a 5.36 ERA in those contests and is 1-0 with a 1.29 ERA against Oakland this year. According to Baseball Savant, the current Oakland roster is batting only .205 in 138 plate appearances off of Minor heading into Wednesday’s contest.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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While Manaea is undoubtedly the better pitcher, he’s had his fair share of troubles over the last month. Meanwhile, Minor enters this game due for some positive regression on the mound after out-pitching his peripherals for the better part of the season. The Royals’ lefty has also flashed an ability to eat innings at a high rate over the last month, which bodes well for Kansas City’s chances in this game. The A’s have stumbled down the stretch of the regular season and now find themselves on the outside looking in at the playoff picture in the American League. With all of the pressure on Oakland to perform in this spot, take the Royals to come out on top in the second game of this series at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday night. 

Prediction: Kansas City Royals +133

Full-Game Total Pick

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These two teams are projected for 8.5 runs but that number might be set a little too low here. Manaea has had a few implosions recently, giving up at least three earned runs in four of his previous seven starts and seven of his last 12 outings overall. Meanwhile, Minor has been far from perfect, especially at home where he has logged a 5.18 ERA in 14 starts. The Royals left has also struggled to keep runs off of the board as of late, allowing three runs or more in five of his last seven appearances. Take this game to go over the projected total at Kauffman Stadium on Wednesday.

Prediction: Over 8.5

Written By Nick Raffoul , "Nick Raffoul"

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He has been a very successful sports bettor over the years and has now brought his talents to us here at Winners & Whiners. Nick uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits. Let Nick win for you.