The Oakland Athletics scored and then scored a lot more last night against the Royals in Kansas City. They ultimately throttled the Athletics for a 19-4 win to get the week started Monday. A 10-2 lead after 3 innings of play was all they needed to put away the Royals. Brad Keller was horrible, lasting just 1.1 innings before getting yanked with 5 earned runs on his resume. Jorge Lopez also allowed 5 earned runs in 1.2 innings.
Things got so bad for the Royals that they opted to go with position player Alex Gordon on the bump. Gordon pitched 1.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 earned runs. That’s better than Lopez, Keller, and Kyle Zimmer who all got hit for 4 earned runs and more. It’s always a novelty when a position player gets to pitch, though. Especially in blowouts like that, at least there is something worth watching with Alex Gordon pitching.
If you took the in-game over, then the Royals going to Gordon was a welcome sign. In any event, it isn’t like anyone else was being effective. Last night included impressive offensive numbers as well, of course. Marcus Semien was the big winner with 7 RBI’s. There were five other hitters who connected for at least 2 RBI’s as well. The Athletics’ job is not done in Kansas City. They need more wins on this road trip.
They are one win behind the Rays, though they’ve played two less games than Tampa. The Indians are tied with the Rays at 76 wins and they have played one more than the A’s. So, Oakland are in a pretty good position here. Mike Fiers will be tasked with giving the A’s another boost tonight.
He shouldn’t expect that kind of run support in this one, but Fiers has been sharp this season and hasn’t needed that much. Former Cub, Mike Montgomery, is expected for the Royals. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Royals pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. K.C. Royals Pick:
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No one likes to talk about Mike Fiers, but he deserves a lot of recognition for getting the Athletics to this point. Without Fiers, the Athletics are not going to be in the position they’re in. Maybe around 4 games back of a wildcard instead of being a game away from grabbing one. Fiers was acquired from the Tigers in a trade last season. He was flying under the radar on a bad team and the Athletics pulled the trigger on him instead of something more expensive. Meanwhile, the Yankees are paying a lot more for an average James Paxton.
Fiers goes into Tuesday night with an ERA of 3.46 and 1.13 WHIP on the season. He’s one of the more consistent arms you are going to find in baseball. Fiers does a good job of avoiding the horrible outliers and steadily producing at his usual pace. For instance, Fiers has allowed 3 or less runs in 20 out of his last 21 starts.
That’s an insane number that not too many pitchers can claim. In the one out of 21, the Astros hit Fiers for 5 runs. This isn’t the ‘Stros he has to deal with tonight, it’s the Royals. And in his previous three outings, he has posted a 3.44 ERA, which is just about dead on with his overall numbers. Fiers should be glad about seeing the Royals tonight, because he’s done a pretty good job against them in the past. The Royals are hitting .219 against Fiers in 64 at-bats.
The A’s have had a nice effort against lefties this season. They are hitting .262 and are looking for more against Mike Montgomery this evening. Montgomery is coming off a shoddy performance against the Orioles on the road, where he allowed 5 earned runs and 8 hits in 5 innings of work. Montgomery hadn’t allowed a run in two games leading up to that outing, so he was due. Don’t expect another onslaught from the Athletics like last night, but they look locked in and focused. Look for a win by 2 or more runs by the A’s tonight.