The Oakland Athletics will look to keep rolling atop the AL West when they finish up a four-game series with the Kansas City Royals on Sunday afternoon at RingCentral Coliseum. Oakland has taken two of the first three games of the set after cruising to an 11-2 victory on Saturday to hit as a -151 favorite. Kansas City is in third place in the AL Central at 30-33, while the Athletics lead the AL West by 1.5 games at 39-27.
This will wrap up the first series between these two since 2019, when Oakland held a 5-2 advantage. Oakland has not lost the season total since 2015, winning 20 of the 29 matchups since then.
Royals tough road trip continues in blowout lossIt has not been a fun swing to the West Coast for the Royals, who have now lost seven of their past eight games as they fall further below .500. The Athletics were in control throughout, as Kansas City was blanked until the eighth inning when Kelvin Gutierrez launched a two-run homer, but things were already out of reach.
Jackson Kowar struggled in his second career start, allowing four runs on five hits and three walks in just 1.1 innings. Wade Davis also struggled, allowing five runs in his one inning of work. Gutierrez recorded the only multi-hit game for the Royals, who went 0-4 with runners in scoring position.
The Royals have fared better against the spread at 34-29 and just fell below even on the money line for the season with Saturday's loss. Overs are 30-29-4 for the Royals after Saturday's game snapped a streak of three straight unders.
Kansas City's offense has been in a slump over the past few weeks, bringing its season averages to 4.30 runs per game with a 0.691 team OPS. The Royals pitching staff has also slipped into the bottom 10 with a 4.46 collective ERA, including a mark of 4.88 from the starting rotation.
Kris Bubic has been a bright spot for the Kansas City pitching staff with a 3.32 ERA across 38 innings and will make his sixth start of the season on Sunday in Oakland. The 23-year-old had his first rough outing last Thursday against the Los Angeles Angels, allowing six earned runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four in just four innings. Salvador Perez is turning in another strong season to lead the Royals offense with a 0.845 OPS, 16 homers and 42 RBI.
Shortstop Adalberto Mondesi has been limited to seven games this season with various injuries, and is currently dealing with a strained hamstring. Starting pitcher Danny Duffy, who was having a terrific season before getting injured, has started a throwing program as he rehabs a strained forearm flexor. Reliever Jesse Hahn is shut down with a shoulder impingement.
A's pile on late for eighth win in 10 gamesSince starting the season 1-7, Oakland has been one of the best teams in baseball and continued to hold the AL West lead over Houston with another easy win on Saturday. Matt Chapman and Matt Olson slugged RBI doubles in the bottom of the second to get Oakland rolling before both went deep later in the game, with Skye Bolt also hitting a long ball in a five-run eighth.
Starter James Kaprielian cruised through six scoreless innings to pick up the win, allowing just two hits and four walks while racking up seven strikeouts. Chapman went 3-5 with three runs driven in, a welcome sign as the former MVP candidate has really struggled since the start of 2020.
Oakland is a solid team against the spread at 35-31, and is up a good amount on the money line as it has been on an absolute roll since the middle of April. Overs are 30-34-2 for the Athletics, with Saturday's game snapping a run of six straight unders.
The Athletics are putting up an average of 4.35 runs per game with a 0.718 team OPS. Oakland pitching is also around mid-pack with a 3,88 collective ERA, and its 2.67 BB/9 ratio is the best in baseball.
Chris Bassitt, who is set to start Sunday's series finale, has been Oakland's best starting pitcher with a 6-2 record and 3.44 record across 81 innings. The 32-year-old had yet another strong outing last Tuesday against the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts across seven innings. Olson has been Oakland's top hitter with a 0.923 OPS, 16 homers and 43 RBI.
Oakland is currently down a key piece of the lineup, as center fielder Ramon Laureano remains out with a strained hip. Starting pitcher Mike Fiers is not yet on a throwing program as he rehabs a sprained elbow. Reliever J.B. Wendelken is set to face live hitters this week as he gets closer to returning from a strained oblique, while closer Trevor Rosenthal is hoping to join the team in August after undergoing thoracic outlet surgery.
Trends via Covers.com. Oakland is:
- 7-1 in its last eight games as a favorite.
- 43-17 in its last 60 games against the AL Central.
Kansas City is:
- 72-149 in its last 221 games as a road underdog.
- 1-7 in its last eight games overall.