Jeremy Guthrie (1-0, 5.14 ERA) and the Kansas City Royals (7-2) go up against Sonny Gray (1-0, 0.59 ERA) and the Oakland Athletics (5-5) in the first of a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium. The game starts at 8:10 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 17 and will air on CSN-CA and FSN-KC.
Guthrie is 4-5 with a 4.55 ERA and 1.47 WHIP against the Athletics in his career. Lorenzo Cain (.429 ) continued his strong start to the season yesterday, going 3 for 4 with three runs, one home run, three RBIs, and one stolen base. In his career against the Royals, Gray is 0-2 with a 1.93 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, and nine strikeouts. Billy Butler (.359, 7 Rs, 1 HR, 6 RBIs) went 1 for 4 Wednesday with one run.
Kansas City is a small +105 underdog in this game and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Royals have had an impressive start to its season, earning a record of 3-0 as the underdog and with an overall money line of +625. The Royals rank fifth in the majors in extra base hits with 32. They have been a terror on the base paths, ranking fifth in all of baseball with eight steals. Transitioning to the pitching staff, the Royals don't allow many hitters to get on base, ranking third in the league with a 0.96 WHIP.
Switching to the opposing bench, the Athletics come into this game with a win percentage of .500 when playing as the favorite (3-3) and an overall money line of -149. Oakland is one of the top hitting teams in the league with 36 extra base hits. The Athletics average just 6.7 strikeouts per game, one of the lowest marks in the AL. Switching gears to Oakland's pitching staff, they have a WHIP of 0.96 on the year, good for second in the league.
The right-handed Guthrie will take the mound against the Athletics, who have a 4-4 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - KC, O/U - Over
Oakland has won 33% (2-4) of its games when leading after 7 innings. However, Kansas City has won all of its games (4-0) when taking a late lead.
The Royals are coming into this game after allowing two walks during their last outing. The Athletics have a 2-1 record when opponents give up that many walks or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Royals are 0-1. The Athletics have a 1-2 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 21st in home runs, Oakland has hit six this season. Kansas City ranks fifth with 11 home runs.
Kansas City ranks at the top of the league when it comes to hits with 11.50 per game this season. Oakland ranks in the top five at third with 10.50.
Kansas City ranks at the top of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage of .875. Oakland ranks in the top 10 at sixth with an OPS of .785.
When the Athletics allow at least one home run, they are 1-4. When the Royals allow one or more homers, they have a 6-2 record.