Series Preview: Royals (55-52) at Athletics (66-41)
By Mike Vamosi
On the heels of a 5-2 homestand against Cleveland/Minnesota the Royals now head west to Oakland and Phoenix for the next week. First thing is first and that’s taking on the team with the best record in baseball who acquired a “Royal” killer that will make his debut this weekend.
Kansas City makes their lone visit to the O.co Coliseum this weekend against the best team in Major League Baseball. Photo Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
This series against the Athletics starts a stretch that will help determine if the postseason remains in reach. So happy August 1 to fans of the boys in blue who as we know have a lot of work to do the final two months.
Probable Pitching Match-ups:
Friday, 8:35 pm – Jeremy Guthrie/RHP (6-9, 4.70) v. Sonny Gray/RHP (12-3, 2.65)
Saturday, 3:05 pm – Jason Vargas/LHP (8-4, 3.31) v. Jon Lester/LHP (10-7, 2.52)
Sunday, 3:05 pm – James Shields/RHP (9-6, 3.50) v. Scott Kazmir/LHP (12-3, 2.37)
Comments on Pitching Match-ups – Alright there’s a good news/bad news situation about the pitching match-ups this weekend in Oakland. First the good, Kansas City gets Vargas back while also throwing Shields. Bad news is that the A’s counter with Gray, newly acquired/Royals killer Lester makes his green and gold debut on Saturday which pushes Kazmir to Sunday (originally would’ve been Jesse Chavez). So that’s the long and short of things pitching wise.
Series Predictions – Look, I hope that my optimism comes across when I provide these series previews, however hard to feel good about this series. Yes, KC had a decent homestand and they’ve not played well at the worst pro sport facility in North America when they visit. I just can’t see good things occurring this weekend with Oakland returning reenergized by the moves Billy Beane made yesterday for a run at the pennant. Prediction: Oakland sweep
Last season the Athletics took five of six from our Royals which included sweeping them in the north bay. During that sweep Oakland won twice by 2-1 scores and finished off the series with a 4-3 win so yes three one-run losses. At Kauffman Stadium, again it was another A’s series win by score of 6-3 and 10-4 with Kansas City winning the middle game 4-3.
All-time the Oakland Athletics hold a 305-249 series advantage which includes a 168-109 lead in the bay area.
All three games can be seen on FOX Sports Kansas City with Steve Physioc and Rex Hudler handing the TV broadcast. Joel Goldberg leads Royals Live before and after from the O.co Coliseum. On the Royals Radio Network (610 Sports Radio in KC) will be Ryan Lefebvre and Steve Stewart.
AL Central Standings (August 1):
Detroit Tigers (58-47, – GB)
Kansas City Royals (55-52, 4 GB)
Cleveland Indians (53-55, 6.5 GB)
Chicago White Sox (53-56, 7 GB)
Minnesota Twins (48-59, 11 GB)
AL Wildcard Standings (August 1):
Los Angeles Angels (64-43, +5.5 GMS)
Toronto Blue Jays (60-50, – )
Seattle Mariners (56-52, 3 GB)
Royals (55-52, 3.5 GB)
New York Yankees (55-52, 3.5 GB)
Indians (53-55, 6 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays (53-55, 6 GB)
White Sox (53-56, 6.5 GB)
2014 Series Schedule/Results v. Athletics
August 1-3, O.co Coliseum
August 11-14, Kauffman Stadium
Kansas City Royals