It’s ‘Last’ Call
While the MLB season approaches its halfway point, it’s likely felt that much longer for fans of the Oakland Athletics and Kansas City Royals.
Entering this three-game series, Oakland and Kansas City are in the cellar of their respective divisions. It’s never too late to get hot and turn things around. That may begin as soon as Friday night (if you’re an optimist).
Also check on these MLB betting lines.
Athletics’ Brutal Season
The Oakland Athletics held a firesale last offseason, tanking their MLB playoff odds before the first pitch of 2022.
It’s no surprise the A’s are a dismal 23-48, 21 games behind the American League West-leading Houston Astros. The last month has been uglier, though, Oakland dropping 18 of its last 21.
Oakland’s meager offense has mustered one or no runs in five of its last eight. That’s dangerously close to ranking dead last in that category. The team already sits last in MLB in batting average, OBP and slugging.
The Athletics’ pitching has not been much better, ranking 24th in ERA. They’ve surrendered two or fewer runs in three of the last five.
The A’s are banking on lefthander Cole Irvin to break them out of their funk. The lefty has been one of Oakland’s better starters, 2-4 with 3.14 ERA and 1.21 WHIP. He’s surrendered more than three runs in just two of his 11 starts all season, however the A’s have lost his last seven. That’s nos-support at its very finest.
There’s no doubt the Kansas City Royals are beneath expectations, However, the 25-43 Royals are actually playing better of late.
Even after a 5-0 shutout loss Wednesday night at Anaheim, KC has five wins in its last seven games, with a chance to leave their basement residence. The Royals are just a half-game behind Detroit Tigers as of this writing.
The Royals’ bats, though somewhat better in recent games, remain underwhelming to date. Kansas City has the fourth-fewest runs, fourth-lowest OPS and MLB’s 21st-ranked batting average.
The Royals’ pitchers have the second-worst WHIP, the third-worst ERA and batting average against.
Kansas City has righthander Zack Greinke back on the mound Friday. The 38-year-old has been on the IL since the end of May (flexor strain in his [right] pitching elbow). He is 0-4 with a 5.05 ERA (10 starts) and 1.35 WHIP.
Athletics vs Royals Head-to-Head
The clubs just met a week ago Oakland, with the Royals winning two-of-three.
However, Oakland has dominated the bulk of the recent matchup. From 2018 through 2021, the A’s won 15-of-21 games.
Athletics vs Royals Game Information
- Game: Athletics (23-48) vs Royals (25-43)
- Location: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas Cioty, MO
- Day/Time: Friday, June 24, 8:10 p.m. ET
- Athletics vs Royals Live Stream: MLB.TV
Athletics vs Royals Betting Lines
C. Irvin -L
|+1½ -165||+120||9 -125o||3½ -150o
|Kansas City Royals
Z. Greinke -R
|-1½ +145||-130||9 +105u||4½ -115o
Athletics vs Royals Prediction
The MLB lines favor the home team in this one. Even with a rusty Greinke, the Kansas City Royals are -130 favorites on the money line. Meanwhile, the Oakland Athletics are priced at +120.
This is a game that, on paper, favors the Royals. They’ve been playing much better of late, while the A’s continue to struggle, mightily. That said, there is serious potential for the underdog.
Irvin is a vastly better pitcher than Greinke at this point in time, and secondly, the Athletics are actually 30-31 as underdogs on the run line. Meanwhile, the Royals are just 12-21 at home.
In what looks like a low-scoring game, bet on the pitching. Head to the sportsbook to take Irvin and the A’s.