The Oakland A’s and Kansas City Royals play Game 2 of their series on Wednesday night at the Kauffman Stadium.
Oakland heads to this game having lost their last three games and seven out of their last 10 overall. The A’s are currently 77-67 in the season and third place in the AL West division, seven games behind the Houston Astros. Oakland is also 3.5 games behind the AL wild card race.
Meanwhile, the Royals are 66-78 on the season and they are 4th in the AL Central Division team standings, 17 games behind the leaders Chicago White Sox. Kansas City is also 14.5 games behind in the AL wild card race. The Royals have won two in a row and four out of their last five.
Kansas City took Game 1 of this current set 10-7 but the A’s are up 3-2 in their season series.
The A’s have been one of the better teams in the majors this season but their recent slump has endangered their playoff aspirations. Oakland is 37-33 on the road and they have slugged .409 this season with Matt Olson leading the way at .542. Olson also leads the A’s with 66 extra base hits and 99 RBI.
Sean Manea will be Oakland’s Game 2 starter. Manea has started 28 games this season and has a 9-9 record and an ERA of 3.78. However, he struggled last month posting a terrible 9.9 ERA in five August starts. In his last outing, Manea allowed just one run in seven innings with nine strikeouts and one walk in a win over the White Sox.
Odds from BetOnline as of 09/15/2021
Kansas City Royals
The Royals are having a terrible season and they are one of the worst teams in the majors this season. Kansas City’s offense has scored an average of 4.55 runs per game this season and the Royals are 35-35 at home this season with a collective on-base percentage of .303 with Nicky Lopez leading the team with .367.
Kansas City will put Mike Minor on top of the mound in Game 2. Minor is 8-12 with a 5.05 ERA in 28 starts this season. The 33-year old left-hander, however, has flashed some signs of brilliance as of late, producing three quality starts in his last five outings. Minor has pitched into the sixth inning or later in seven out of his last nine starts. In his most recent appearance, Minor pitched six scoreless innings in a no-decision against the Baltimore Orioles.
Oakland is 3-7 in their last 10 games played. The A’s are 2-5 in their last seven games as road favorites, 3-8 in their last 11 games when their opponent allows more than five runs in their previous game, 2-6 in their last eight road games when the total is set between 7.0-8.5, 1-5 in their last six games after a loss, 1-7 in their last 8 Game 2 of a series, and 0-4 in their last four road games.
Kansas City is 4-1 in their last five games. The Royals are 4-1 in their last five games played on grass, 6-2 in their last eight games as home underdogs, 5-1 in their last six games as underdogs, 16-7 in their last 23 games against a left-handed starter, 19-7 in their last 26 games when scoring five or more runs in their previous game.
There’s no question that Manea is the better pitcher in this match-up but he’s had his fair share of troubles during the last month.
Minor hasn’t been that good this season but neither has he been that bad as well as he’s averaged 8.45 strikeouts and 2.33 walks per nine innings this season. He is also 1-0 with an ERA of 1.29 against the A’s this season.
Oakland has struggled down the stretch and they now find themselves out of playoff contention and looking from the outside. Sure, there are still more than enough games to get back in the race but not only is time running out fast but the pressure is creeping up on them.
The A’s still have the better team and there is a chance that they will rise to the occasion and make a late push. However, given their recent struggles and the value that the underdog has due to the pitching matchup, I will take my chance on the Royals and take the plus money.
Prediction: Royals +129
The total has gone over in six out of the last eight road games played by the Athletics. The over is 4-0-1 in their last five games as road favorites, 10-1 in their last 11 games against an opponent with a losing record, 4-1 in their last five games when the total is set between 7.0-8.5, and 4-1 in their last Game 2 of a series.
The total has gone over in four out of the last six games played by Kansas City. However, the under is 4-0 in the Royals’ last four games against a left-handed starter, 6-2 in their last eight games against an opponent with a winning record, 15-6-3 in their last 24 games as home underdogs, 22-9-1 in their last 32 games after a win, and 4-1 in their last five home games.
Odds from BetOnline as of 09/15/2021
These teams combined for 17 runs on Tuesday so it’s clear that these are lineups that can score when the right pitching matchup presents. Minor has pitched well against Oakland this season but the A’s still have a formidable order.
Meanwhile, Manea’s struggles should carry forward here, allowing the Royals to score more than enough runs not just to win the game but to help push the total to over 8 runs. I like these teams to hit the over.
Prediction: Over 8.5