Royals vs. Athletics prediction and odds for Monday, Aug. 21 (Battle for last place)

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The KC Royals maybe 46 games under .500, but they are still not the worst in MLB thanks to their opponent this week. The Oakland Athletics, sitting at 34-90, host the Royals in the Oakland Coliseum for a three-game set this week. Shortstop phenom Bobby Witt Jr. could be in store for a big series after a relatively quiet trip to Chicago.

The KC Royals look to right the ship in California.

Paul Blackburn will get the start for Oakland, with a 3-3 record and a 4.09 ERA this season. The Royals will deploy an opener against the Athletics, with Tucker Davidson starting. The Royals acquired Davidson ahead of the trade deadline and the 27-year-old reliever has a 0-1 record and 5.68 ERA in six appearances with Kansas City. This game could go either way, with both teams dropping their respective previous series.

Here are the odds:

KC Royals vs. Athletics odds, run line and total

Royals vs. Athletics prediction and pick

The Royals are a surprising underdog here to the worst team in baseball. But, it is hard to ignore Kansas City's 3-7 record in their last 10 games. The boys in blue have run through a gauntlet of playoff contenders, so they should have an easier time against the Athletics. Oakland has a measly 2-8 record in their last 10 games as the betting favorite, so an odds advantage does not translate well to a winning result.

With the money line looking like a good value for the Royals, taking them to cover the spread seems like a no-brainer. They are 6-4 against the spread in their last 10 games, and losing by two or more runs to the Athletics would be a new low point for the Kansas City squad. Oakland failed to cover the spread three times in a row entering tonight, and that extends to them being a favorite as well.

Finally, the total runs here could go either way. The Athletics have hit the over three times in a row, thanks to high offensive output from their opponents. The Royals trended towards the over as well, hitting it six times in their last 10 games. This game feels like one that sees no more than 10 runs, simply because of two poor pitching staffs. The value is there in taking the over, even if it is not a sure thing.