Pick Athletics +100 vs. Royals in AL Wild Card Game

Ross Benjamin

Tuesday, September 30, 2014 10:56 AM GMT

Tuesday, Sep. 30, 2014 10:56 AM GMT

This insightful MLB handicapping article previews the American League Wild Card game between the Athletics & Royals and includes a free money line MLB pick.

Won or Done
The Royals will host the A’s on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium in the American League Wild Card game with the first pitch slated for 8:07 PM ET. According to MLB betting odds the Royals are a -110 money line home favorite. The winner of this game will advance to the ALCS, and will face the AL #1 seed Los Angeles Angels in a series that will begin on Thursday night.

 

A’s Count Heavily on Lester
When the A’s acquired Jon Lester before the 2014 trade deadline from the Boston Red Sox on July 31st, this is the exact kind of situation they were hoping to use him in. It’s a win or go home scenario for Oakland, and their southpaw ace gives them a very reasonable chance to advance. This will be the 12th career postseason start for Lester, and he’s posted an excellent 2.11 ERA in his first 11. He’s also gone 3-0 versus the Royals this season while posting a stellar 2.61 ERA. Just in case the Oakland starter needs it, the A’s bullpen has been superb in 2014, posting a 2.91 ERA as a staff.

 

Royals Franchise Cherishing the Moment
If you haven’t heard it already, this will be the Kansas City Royals first postseason appearance in 29-years. The last time they embarked in postseason play was Game 7 of the 1985 World Series when they defeated the Cardinals 11-0, capturing their lone world championship in franchise history. Between 1976 and 1985, the Royals appeared in the postseason in 7 of those 10-years. The drought is over, the celebration has been temporarily put on hold, and it’s time for the Royals to prove they belong in prime time.

 

Getting Behind the Royals Shields
The Royals ace James Shields get the honor of pitching this historic game in franchise history. He was outstanding in 5-starts in September when the Royals playoff chances were teetering on the fence. However, Shields has been much more profitable on the road going 15-4 against the money, than at home where he’s cashed in just 6 of his 15-starts. Shields will be making his 7th career postseason start, and it will be his first since 2011 when he was a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He hasn’t exactly had a shining resume in those previous 6 postseason outings, evidenced by his lofty 4.94 ERA in those starts. As those placing MLB picks on this team will know, the Royals were a very good 47-34 on the road this season, but an average at best 42-39 at Kauffman Stadium in 2014.

Free MLB Pick: A’s +100 over the Royals at Pinnacle

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