MLB Game Preview - Royals v Athletics

 
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Final-11 3 4 5 6   7 8 9   10 11 R H E
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  W: J. Wendelken (3-1)   L: J. Hahn (0-1)
12:37 PM PT1:37 PM MT2:37 PM CT3:37 PM ET15:37 ET19:37 GMT3:37 12:37 PM MST2:37 PM EST3:07 PM VEN23:37 UAE2:37 PM CT, September 18, 2019
Ring Central Coliseum, Oakland, California  Attendance: 16,714

A's turn to Bailey in rubber match vs. Royals

According to STATS
According to STATS

Kansas City Royals at Oakland Athletics

  1. The A's are 17-7 against the Royals since 2016, their second-best record against any AL opponent in that span (21-6 vs. Tigers). The A's held the Royals to just seven runs in a four-game set in Oakland last season with the Royals slashing just .169/.200/.308 in the series.
  2. Kansas City was swept by Houston over the weekend, getting outscored 22-5 in the three-game series. Since scoring 27 runs in a four-game set with Detroit from August 8-11, the Royals have averaged just 3.67 runs across 30 games, second-fewest in MLB ahead of the Blue Jays (3.46).
  3. The A's are winners of six straight and 11 of their last 13, averaging 7.30 runs across those 13 games. The A's are 39-19 since the All-Star break, best in MLB, after going 42-23 after the break last year, also best in MLB.
  4. Jorge Soler has a .404 on-base percentage since the All-Star break, best of any Royal (minimum 50 PA). His OBP before the break was just .307 -- that .097 improvement is the largest in MLB this season among qualifiers.
  5. Marcus Semien is slashing .407/.467/.889 in his last six games with four home runs, three walks and eight RBI. He has plated at least one run in all six games and leads MLB in runs scored in September with 17.
  6. Seth Brown has played 16 career games and owns a slash line of .385/.439/.596. The only other qualifying A's player in the live-ball era to match or exceed that slash line through 16 career games was Manny Jimenez in 1962 (.395/.480/.651).
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/16/2019 thru 9/18/2019

Veteran pitchers who were slotted back-to-back in the Kansas City rotation earlier this season go head-to-head for the first time in their career when the Royals and host Oakland Athletics conclude a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon.

The tightly contested set has produced a pair of come-from-behind, one-run wins, the result being that the A's (91-61) own a two-game lead over Tampa Bay (89-63) and a 2 1/2-game advantage over Cleveland (88-63) in the race for two American League wild-card playoff berths.

Coming off a 2-1 win on Tuesday night, the A's will send right-hander Homer Bailey (13-8, 4.76 ERA) in pursuit of his career-best 14th win in the series finale.

Bailey started the season with the Royals, where he joined left-hander Danny Duffy (6-6, 4.55) in the starting staff during the first half of the year.

That changed when the A's acquired Bailey in mid-July, a deal that's worked out well for Oakland. Bailey has gone 6-2 with a 4.70 ERA in 11 starts with his new team.

Bailey made a successful return to Kansas City last month, riding massive offensive support to a 19-4 win. He served up a home run to Brett Phillips during his six-inning stint.

It was the 33-year-old's only career start against the Royals, against whom he will take a 1-0 record and 4.50 ERA into Wednesday's duel.

Marcus Semien did much of the damage for the A's that night, driving in seven runs with a three-run homer, a three-run triple and an RBI infield out.

"(The coaches) talk about it every day: He's been fantastic," A's manager Bob Melvin said about Semien earlier in the series. "Durable, power, average, on-base, defense ... he's one of the better players in the league."

Semien has one career homer in 11 at-bats against Duffy, who has dominated the A's over the years, going 4-0 with a 2.89 ERA in eight games (seven starts).

All of the wins have come in six outings (five starts) in Oakland.

Duffy, 30, missed the A's on their visit last month. He has since pitched well in his past two starts against Miami and Houston, allowing just two runs and six hits in 12 innings.

He benefitted in the 7-2 win over the Marlins from Jorge Soler's 41st home run of the season.

Soler has belted nine homers in his past 18 games, including one Monday in the Royals' 6-5 win, to catch injured Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout for the AL with 45.

Soler told reporters Tuesday that he's not dwelling on winning a home run title.

"All I want to do is stay focused and swing at good pitches," he said. "I'm not worried about that other stuff. I'm not going to worry about who's leading or not leading. All I want to do is to keep doing what I'm doing."

On Wednesday, Soler has a chance to equal former A's outfielder Jose Canseco's 1998 feat of 46 homers, the second-highest single-season total ever produced by a Cuban-born player. Rafael Palmeiro passed Canseco and set the record with 47 in 1999, then duplicated the total in 2001.

--Field Level Media

Updated September 18, 2019

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