The Kansas City Royals head back home to take on the Oakland Athletics in the first game of this three-game series tonight. They enter this series having won five of their last seven games. They have a few key players in the lineup getting hot. White Merrifield is starting to wake up, Andrew Benintendi is back in the lineup. MJ Melendez and Salvador Perez are doing a good job in the middle of the lineup. They also have Hunter Dozier and Michael A. Taylor playing good baseball right now. This team is extremely streaky but when they start to win, they are solid. They have been getting good starting pitching lately as well. That is obviously key to a winning streak, but they allowed two runs or fewer in four of their last seven games.
The Oakland Athletics enter this game as cold as can be. Frankie Montas had a no-hitter going into the eighth inning last night before it was broken up. The Athletics then proceeded to walk the bases loaded in the 9th inning up by only one run. They then had two wild pitches that allowed two runs to score for the Mariners. They are just inventing ways to lose right now. They have the second worst run differential in the Major League and they are 3-16 in June. They are just 2-7 on the road in June. They also lost two of three games to the Royals in Oakland last week. The only thing going their way tonight is that they are 15-20 on the road this season as opposed to 8-28 at home.
Zack Greinke will come off the IL to make this start for the Royals. He was really struggling before he went on the IL, but he should be good to go now that he’s healed up. He had multiple walks in each of his last two starts before he went on the IL and he really doesn’t walk anybody, so that’s a tell-tale sign that he wasn’t right. He should have success tonight against an Athletics lineup that is one of the worst in the league in hitting. Cole Irvin has been much worse on the road this season, he is 1-3 with a 5.02 ERA. He has pitched well overall, but I think the Royals will have success against the lefty because they are much better against lefties this season. I like the Royals to stay hot here.