Royals and A's Face Each Other in Day Game Series Opener

A's pitcher Jharel Cotton

Jay Pryce

Monday, April 10, 2017 2:43 PM GMT

Monday, Apr. 10, 2017 2:43 PM GMT

Oakland owns a surprising six-game winning streak over the Royals. Can rookie starter Jharel Cotton make it seven? Not if Ian Kennedy has his way. Pick and betting preview here.

Oakland Athletics (3-4 SU)

The A’s are scheduled a rare, road day game in back-to-back outings as they travel to Kansas City from Texas to take on the Royals Monday. Preparations and travel will be tough to manage, but it may not matter to Oakland. The team sports a six-game winning streak in the series dating back to last April; four of which it went off as underdogs.

Jharel Cotton, a September call-up in 2016, gets the nod from skipper Bob Melvin. Cotton is the A’s No. 3 starter after impressing last season and through spring training. The right-hander went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and 0.82 WHIP in five starts in 2016. In the preseason, he allowed opponents just a .208 batting average.

The Royals are one of the few MLB teams Cotton has faced. Last September, he earned a no-decision in a 5-4 Oakland win at Kauffman Stadium. The young right-hander gave up one earned run in 5.2 innings.

 

Kansas City Royals (2-4)

Kansas City lost 5-4 at Houston in 12 innings on Sunday. The team has shown little ill effects or tiredness after playing extra time in recent years, going 16-7 SU in their last 23 games following more than nine frames. Like Oakland, the Royals will have to contend with late travel from Texas prior to Monday, however.

Taking the hill for K.C. is finesse pitcher Ian Kennedy. The right-hander is 1-1 with a 6.17 ERA in two lifetime starts against Oakland. The A’s current roster is batting .355 (27-for-76) against as a group. Trevor Plouffe and Yonder Alonso are each hitting better than .400 with 18 and 16 at-bats respectively.

In the last calendar year, Kennedy and the bullpen gift just 3.17 runs per game on 7.67 hits as home chalk. They have allowed more than three runs in just two of six outings. The UNDER is also 6-0 when Kennedy squares off against AL West opponents in a Royals uniform. He and the staff yield just 3.00 runs per game in this situation.

 

Oakland Athletics vs Kansas City Royals

Cotton is a much better prospect than he displayed in his 2017 debut. Armed with five pitches, most tend to induce flyballs, which often stay in the park at Kauffman Stadium. Historically, Kennedy is usually stronger early in the season. His 1.26 career WHIP in April is the lowest of any month. With each team swinging light sticks currently, the hook is worth biting into here with an MLB pick on the UNDER 8.5.

 Free MLB Pick: Under 8.5Best Line Offered: at BetDSI

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