Pitching Mismatch Makes Royals A Valuable MLB Pick Against Athletics

Joe Gavazzi

Friday, April 15, 2016 5:11 PM GMT

In this story of two teams headed in opposite directions, our MLB pick will be the defending champion Royals against Athletics, assisted by a pitching mismatch that is also in our favor. 

Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics

Oakland Athletics
At the conclusion of the 2014 season, the Oakland A’s were a solid winning franchise, averaging over 90 victories per year in the previous 5 seasons.  An unlikely set of circumstances, including injuries, saw Oakland decline to 68-94 last year (20 games worse than the preceding season). Though we may see a bit of a bounce from Oakland this season (they are ticketed to win 76 games by the oddsmakers), it is clear they will not return to their winning status.

In an opening week schedule that found the A’s playing 7 of their first 10 games at home, Oakland has failed to take advantage. The 3-0 sweep at Seattle last weekend by combined scores of (11-4) was rewarding. But on this field, where Oakland was an American League worst 34-47 last year, the A’s have started 1-6. That includes a single victory by a score of (2-1) against the White Sox on April 6th. 

Tonight, they head into a series against the defending champs on a 3-game losing streak to the LA Angels to begin the week. The hitting continues to be anemic with Oakland scoring 3 or less runs in 7 of their 10 games, while only topping the 4-run mark once in 10 games. The A’s must do better than that, if they expect to get a victory behind tonight’s starter, Hill. Hill allowed 4 runs in 2 2/3 IP of his first start and he has a 5.91 lifetime ERA against the Royals.

 

Kansas City Royals
This clearly looks to be a value price on the defending champs. The KC rise to the zenith of the American League, including the World Series Championship last year, has been based on strong fundamentals, including defense, base running and always looking to sacrifice individual statistics for the good of the team. Along with an outstanding bullpen, it has led the Royals to a better record from 67 wins to 71 to 72 to 86 to 89 to 95 wins in each of the previous 6 seasons. With a 44-37 road record last year (2nd only to Texas in the AL), the strong fundamentals have resulted in success on the road where they are the only team in MLB to post a winning road record for 3 consecutive seasons.  

After dropping their Monday game vs. an avenging Houston team, the Royals went on to sweep the highly-touted Astros in the final 3 games of the series. That lifts their record to 7-2 for the season on their way to the 7th consecutive improved season and 4th consecutive winning season on the road. It certainly won’t hurt that they send reborn starter Volquez to the mound who, in 4 starts against the A’s, has allowed just a .213 BA and has a 1.18 WHIP.

I invite you to put the MLB odds in your favor and join me in my MLB pick on the KC Royals tonight.

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Free MLB Pick: KC Royals +102
Best Line Offered: at Bovada