Wednesday, August 4, 2021

Runs will be at a premium

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The Athletics have become known for doing more with less, their moneyball style, but the Royals have remained competitive thanks to a young starting rotation and a veteran bullpen, which will be put to the test Sunday.

The Royals will start Kris Bubic, who has surrendered three earned runs or fewer in four of his five starts after beginning the season as a long reliever, and has posted a 3.32 ERA and .234 opponents batting average.

He will go toe-to-toe with Chris Bassitt, who has allowed two runs or fewer in nine of his past 11 starts. Bassitt has given up 0.7 home runs and 1.6 walks per nine innings and registered a 0.917 WHIP and 2.90 ERA in Oakland.

The Athletics entered the weekend having allowed three runs or fewer in five of their previous six games, and the Royals had scored four runs of fewer in seven straight games.

Kansas City is the only AL team averaging less than a home run per game, and Oakland entered the weekend averaging 3.8 runs per game with a .209 batting average at home and 4.8 runs per game with a .255 batting average on the road. The Royals’ bullpen has posted MLB’s third-best team ERA the past 30 days at a 2.38 and just 11 of Kansas City’s first 31 road games went over the total this season, so runs won’t come easy in Oakland on Sunday.

The play: Royals-A’s total, Under 8.5 runs

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