Look to Umpire for Accurate Athletics vs. Royals MLB Pick

Jeff Grant

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 12:10 PM GMT

Jason Vargas hasn’t been sharp on the mound since undergoing a surgery last month, but the Kansas City Royals starter will receive some help behind the plate against the Oakland Athletics Wednesday.

The Winning Continues
Oakland improved its record to 7-5 in August with last night’s eight-run victory over Kansas City as -139 road favorites, as it aims to post a winning mark in 15 consecutive months, which would extend the longest such streak in franchise history.

The Athletics lead the Majors with a plus-175 run differential, which can’t be ignored when looking over the MLB betting lines, considering that’s more than double the next closest team in that all-important statistical category.

During the 2014 campaign, the club is 14-7 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the 'under' going 12-7-2 in that situation.

 

Time to Start a New Winning Streak
Kansas City hasn’t occupied the top spot in the American League Central standings this late in the season since 2003, as it has garnered a victory in 16 of its last 20 contests, while owning a 3-2 season series lead against Oakland.

The Royals have an opportunity to get back in the win column if designated hitter Billy Butler is able to produce, as he’s 4 for 19 versus the Athletics this season, but 10 for 29 in his career against tonight’s opposing starter.

MLB handicappers will find that the squad is 35-25 when playing against a team with a winning record this year.

 

Kazmir
Athletics starting pitcher Scott Kazmir (13-4, 2.73 ERA) has watched the team alternate wins and losses over his last five efforts, as he comes off a 6-5 home victory over the Minnesota Twins—giving up five runs and five hits over 6.2 frames.

The left-hander is 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA in 12 road games, with opposing hitters batting .235 against him (.213 at home).

In 16 lifetime starts versus the Royals, Kazmir has produced a 4-6 record and 5.21 ERA, including a 4-2 setback at home on Aug. 3.

 

Vargas
Royals starting pitcher Jason Vargas (8-5, 3.48 ERA) will hit the mound for a third time since undergoing an appendectomy last month—surrendering nine runs (six earned) and 15 hits over 9.1 combined innings.

The left-hander is 4-3 with a 4.69 ERA in 11 home appearances, as he’s served up 11 home runs in 71 total frames.

Vargas has compiled a 6-7 record and 3.71 ERA in his career against the Athletics.

 

Prediction
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Royals as one of their MLB picks, as Vargas has gone 3-1 with a 1.84 ERA in five lifetime outings with umpire Tom Hallion behind home plate.

Free MLB Pick:  Kansas City Royals at Bet365 sportbook

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