The Kansas City Royals will look to snap out of a five-game losing streak, less than a month after losing 11 in a row, as they continue their West Coast trip with a weekend series in Oakland. The A’s have won two straight and are holding on to first place in the American League West.
Kansas City Royals vs. Oakland Athletics
Thursday, June 10, 2021 – 09:40 PM EDT at Oakland Coliseum
Less than a month after ending a nightmare 11-game losing streak, the Kansas City Royals are on another skid, having lost their last five. Fresh off of a three-game sweep by the Los Angeles Angels, the Royals now head to Oakland for a weekend series with the Athletics.
The A’s have won two in a row and are holding on to first place in the American League West, with a one-game edge over the Astros. Oakland has won six of their last seven, beating up on the Mariners, Rockies and Diamondbacks to fuel their hot streak. The A’s have a stellar 25-15 record against teams with a losing record, which, thanks to their current cold stretch, now includes the Royals.
Merrifield Continues To Shine
The Kansas City Royals have lost 31 games this year and are two games below .500. Two losing streaks, however, have provided more than half of those losses. Take away the 11-game skid and the current five gamer, and K.C. would be running away with the West.
Unfortunately, those 16 games are on the schedule, and the Royals find themselves in third place in the A.L. Central. The losses in Anaheim earlier this week knocked Kansas City below .500 on the season for the first time in two weeks.
The Royals are led at the plate by Whit Merrifield, who has now hit in 10 straight games and is 15-for-41 over that stretch. Catcher Sal Perez, at age 31, is providing the power, leading the team with 14 home runs, his most since the 2018 season.
Kansas City has struggle to plate runners in recent games, however, performing poorly with runners on base. They’ve scored fewer than five runs in each of the five losses, combining for 10, or two a game.
The Royals will look to former Oakland pitcher Mike Minor to snap out of the funk. The lefthander is 4-3 this year with a 4.84 ERA. He is coming off a seven-inning start against Minnesota last time out, his longest of the year, but he also surrendered three home runs in the game.
Minor pitched for the A’s during last season’s stretch run after being picked up near the trade deadline and appeared for Oakland in the postseason.
The Athletics have seen an uptick in offense during their current hot streak. They’ve scored five runs or more six times in the last eight games. The pitching has also pitched in, as Oakland has thrown two shutouts over that period as well. Over the last 10 the A’s have hit .251, which, while not stellar is close to 20 points higher than their season average.
Matt Olson leads the team with 15 home runs, and Mark Canha was the hero in Wednesday’s win, with a pair of hits and a pair of RBIs against Arizona. He is 6-for-15 with three home runs against Kansas City’s starter Thursday, Mike Minor.
Oakland’s pitching has fueled their success, as the A’s have managed a 2.97 ERA in the last 10.
The A’s will start righthander Frankie Montas, who is 6-5 with a 4.52 ERA this year. He held the Rockies to three runs in five innings to win his last start. Montas has been a thorn in the Royals’ side during his career, going 2-0 with a 1.62 ERA in three games against Kansas City.
This is one of those games that pops up over a long season, where it’s tempting to go with the adage that a losing team has to win sometime. It’s tough to take the Royals, however, even with the reward of a steep money line on today's odds. The A’s are on a roll and the Royals are scuffling. Bet on both trends continuing.
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