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Royals Look To Take Series From A’s

Can James Shields guide the Royals to a second series victory over the A's?

Can James Shields guide the Royals to a second series victory over the A’s?

The Kansas City Royals will look to close out a four-game set against the Oakland Athletics with a third victory when the two sides meet in a getaway game on Thursday.

First pitch at Kauffman Stadium is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. ET.

20140813_AL_CentralKansas City (65-54, 32-28 home) has climbed its way to the top of the AL Central standings, thanks in part to a solid run of form – the Royals have won 17 of 25 since the All-Star break – and a drop-off from the Detroit Tigers – who have lost 16 of 27 since the break.

The Tigers, who had owned at least a share of the division lead every day but three this season, relinquished the division lead following the Royals’ series-opening victory over the A’s on Monday.

After bouncing back from Tuesday’s defeat with a 3-0 victory on Wednesday night, Ned Yost’s side will now look to keep a hold of that lead or, even better, stretch it further.

20140813_AL_WestOakland (73-47, 33-26 road) continues to pace the major leagues in wins but things haven’t exactly been going to plan of late.

Bob Melvin’s side has gone 14-11 since the All-Star break, a record that is by no means loathsome but one that raises a few eyebrows.

Despite the drop-off in win ratio, the A’s remain three games to the good in the win column in the AL West, with the Los Angeles Angels – 13-12 since the break – failing to cut further into the deficit.

The A’s, who lost a series 2-1 to the Royals in Oakland just two weeks ago, will be looking to pick up a win on Thursday afternoon, and hoping it brings the momentum necessary for the team to garner some space at the top of the division standings.

Pitching Matchup

James Shields (11-6, 3.25 ERA) will take the mound for the home side.

The 32-year-old right-hander has picked up the win in his last two starts, including a complete game shutout of the San Francisco Giants this past Saturday, a game in which he yielded just two hits.

  • Shields is 6-4 with a 3.78 ERA in 14 career games (14 starts) vs. the Oakland Athletics
  • Shields is 9-11 with a 4.18 ERA in 30 career games (30 starts) at Kauffman Stadium
  • Shields is 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in 1 game (1 start) vs. the Oakland Athletics this season
  • Shields is 4-4 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 games (10 starts) at Kauffman Stadium this season

Jeff Samardzija (5-8, 2.91 ERA) will start for Oakland.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 3-1 with a 3.08 ERA since joining the Athletics, a stretch of seven games. Bettors should ignore his previous history with the Royals, a stint that saw his pitch just 1/3 of an inning in relief, allowing an earned run and a pair of walks while striking out one batter.

  • Samardzija is 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in 1 career game (0 starts) vs. the Kansas City Royals
  • Samardzija is 0-1 with a 27.00 ERA in 1 career games (0 starts) at Kauffman Stadium
  • Samardzija has not faced the Kansas City Royals this season
  • Samardzija has not played at Kauffman Stadium this season

Injury Report

Oakland will be without Nick Punto (hamstring), Craig Gentry (hand) and Klye Blanks (calf), all of whom are currently on the 15-day DL.

Kansas City will be without Eric Hosmer (hand), also on the 15-day DL.

Will Jeff Samardzija help the A's get back on track?

Will Jeff Samardzija help the A’s get back on track?

Oakland Athletics vs. Kansas City Royals odds for 08/14/2014

The moneyline opened with both teams at -105. At the time of writing, Bovada was offering Kansas City (-120) as a narrow favorite over Oakland (+100).

Kansas City is 4-2 when playing Oakland this season, including 2-1 in this current series. The Royals have won six of the last eight head-to-head meetings between the two clubs.

Some other trends to consider:

  • Oakland is 27-18 in day games
  • Kansas City is 22-20in day games
  • Oakland is 16-13 vs. AL Central opponents
  • Kansas City is 12-13 vs. AL West opponents
  • Oakland is 53-34 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Kansas City is 47-37 vs. right-handed pitching
  • Oakland is 7-6 since August 1
  • Kansas City is 10-2 since August 1
  • Oakland is 14-11 since the All-Star break
  • Kansas City is 17-8 since the All-Star break

The total opened at, and remains at 7 1/2.

The total has gone under in 12 of the last 16 head-to-head meetings between the clubs, including two of three this series.

The total has also gone under in 11 of the last 15 the two clubs have played at Kauffman Stadium.


Thursday is getaway day for both clubs.

The Royals begin a nine-game road trip on Friday with the first of four games (Fri-Mon) at Target Field against the Minnesota Twins.

Meanwhile, the Athletics will visit the Atlanta Braves for a three-game set this weekend (Fri-Sun).


For a full list of today’s Major League Baseball odds, click here.

For MLB Futures odds, courtesy of Bovada, click here.

For team prop bets, click here.

For player prop bets, click here.

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