9:40 p.m. ET – Royals at Athletics (-155 ML) O/U: 8
The 29-31 Royals travel to Oakland for a four-game series against the 37-26 Athletics over the weekend. Kansas City has lost five games in a row, including getting swept by the Angels earlier this week by a combined score of 22-5 across three games. The Royals fell 6-1 in the series finale on Wednesday with just five hits to show for their efforts. Oakland swept a quick two-game set against the Diamondbacks earlier this week, winning the series finale 4-0 on Wednesday afternoon.
About the Royals
It has only been just over a month since Kansas City led the American League Central lead into the month of May, but things have not gone smoothly since then. The Royals currently sit in third place in the division, 7.5 games behind the first-place White Sox and 5.5 games out of the second wild-card playoff spot.
Kansas City is averaging 4.3 runs per game, ranking 14th in runs per game in MLB. The Royals have been constructed as a team that is forced to score runs without the long ball. They rank 26th in Major League Baseball in home runs, with just 57 thus far this season. Veteran catcher Salvador Perez is having a great season, batting .278 with 14 home runs and 40 RBI. Left fielder Andrew Benintendi is hitting .284, but has not hit the long ball as well as he usually does with just six home runs over two months into the season.
The pitching staff owns a team ERA of 4.52, the ninth-highest ERA in the big leagues. To make matters worse, it is trending in the wrong direction with the team ERA being 4.97 over their last 10 games. No one really expected Kansas City to be in the mix at all on June 10 – but if they want to continue playing somewhat meaningful baseball, they will need the pitching staff to become more consistent.
About the Athletics
The Athletics currently sit atop the American League West, one game ahead of the second-place Astros. Oakland is 6-4 in its last 10 games and has outscored opponents by 17 runs over that stretch. For the season, the Athletics have averaged 4.3 runs scored per game, ranking 14th in the majors.
The main source of output for the lineup has come through the long ball, or the exact opposite of the Royals. With 77 home runs, the A’s rank eighth in the big leagues. First baseman Matt Olson has led the way this season, hitting .276 with 15 home runs and 41 RBI. Olson has hit .400 with two home runs and eight RBI over his last seven games. Left fielder Mark Canha has put together another quality season with 11 home runs and 25 RBI. He has been on fire lately, hitting .323 over his last seven games.
The pitching staff has led the way for the team this season with a team ERA of 3.87, ranking as the 12th-best team ERA in Major League Baseball. It is going to be a battle over the course of the entire season between Oakland and Houston once again, with little margin for error by either team.
|Teams||Spread||Money Line||Total Points|
|Kansas City Royals||+1½ (-155)||+130||O 8 (-105)|
|Oakland Athletics||-1½ (+130)||-155||U 8 (-115)|
The Pitching Matchup
Left-hander Mike Minor is getting the ball for the Royals in the series opener. Minor is 4-3 with a 4.84 in 67 innings across 12 starts this season. He allowed five runs in seven innings of work against the Twins in his last start.
Right-hander Frankie Montas is toeing the rubber for the Athletics on Thursday night. Montas is 6-5 with a 4.52 ERA in 63.2 innings of work across 12 starts this season. He allowed three runs in five innings in his last outing against the Rockies.
Oakland’s offense should be looking forward to its matchup as well, considering they have been great against left-handed pitching this season. This game features two lineups that tend to get their runs in spurts and tonight is the perfect spot for each of them to do so.
*Odds Courtesy of MyBookie Sportsbook