Major League Baseball on Sunday afternoon and I will have a Free Pick in the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Oakland A’s, which will be played at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland. First pitch is scheduled for a 4:05 PM (Eastern) start time and the game will be televised locally.
Over/ Under: 7.5 O -115
This is game 3 of a 3 game series between these American League foes. The Royals come in with the best record in the AL and have taken the first two games of this series, behind some excellent work from their amazing bullpen. The A's had been playing better ball of late and they did climb out of the basement of the AL West, but after losing the first two games in this series they are now back in the divisional basement. The Royals rank 9th in scoring (4.38 rpg), while on the mound they are 5th in ERA (3.48). Oakland ranks 5th in scoring (4.48 rpg), while on the mound they are 8th in ERA (3.52).
Trend for this game include: The Royals are 44-18 in their last 62 games vs. a right-handed starter and 9-2 in Guthrie's last 11 starts during game 3 of a series, but just 1-4 in his last 5 starts with the total set at 7.0-8.5. Oakland is 10-4 in their last 14 games vs. a right-handed starter, but just 4-13 in their last 17 after scoring 2 runs or less in their previous game and 8-20 in their last 28 games vs the AL Central.
Getting the ball for Kansas City tonight will be Jeremy Guthrie, who is 5-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 14 starts this year, while on the road he is 3-3 with an 8.15 ERA. Guthrie is 4-5 with a 4.68 ERA in 13 Appearances (12 starts) in his career vs the A's, while at O.co Coliseum he is 2-1 with a 4.03 ERA in 6 appearances (5 starts).
Toeing the rubber for the A’s tonight will be Jesse Chavez, who is 4-6 with a 3.16 ERA as a starter this year, while at home he is 2-2 with a 1.85 ERA as a starter. Jesse has faced the Royals 5 times in his career with all 5 coming from the pen and he has allowed 0 ER in 10.2 innings of work in those appearances.
Pick: Going with the A's to salvage one game of this series. Jeremy Guthrie is a fade type pitcher, especially on the road where he has an 8.15 ERA on the year and he is just 4-8 with a 4.68 ERA in his career vs the A's. Jesse Chavez has been dominant at home with a 1.85 ERA as a starter and the Royals offense has not been great of late. Oakland needs a win in the worst way and with a big edge on the mound I expect them to get it here.
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In Defense of Pete Rose
A recent ESPN Outside the Lines piece revealed Pete Rose did more than just bet on baseball--he bet on the Cincinnati Reds aka the Big Red Machine during hist stint as player/manager. Since Rose never bet against his baseball team, pro bettors Teddy Covers and Steve Fezzik come to his defense, pointing out he never fixed games like, say, the Chicago Black Sox did. Comparing to other athletes who bet on sports, his lifetime ban from baseball and the Hall of Fame seems pretty harsh compared to the one-year ban of football player Alex Karas. In short, the sports world is being way too harsh on one of the great players of the game.