Kansas City is on the verge of setting another important milestone and all they need to do is to outshine Oakland, to make the playoffs. This sounds easier than it actually is, because the A’s are one of the best teams both at home and on the road. Over the course of several seasons, they greatly improved their starting rotation and they now have enough players capable of winning the games all by themselves.
The Royals have the advantage of playing this essential match in front of their fans, despite the fact that the two teams finished the regular season with the same number of points. It was by far the best season for Kansas City and it would mean a great deal for them to survive this difficult moment. In order to maximize their chances, they decided to send in their very best pitcher, with James Shields winning 14 decisions this season and allowing a bit over three runs per match on average.
He used to play for Tampa Bay and he was one of their best players back then, so it makes perfect sense for Kansas City fans to be confident in his abilities. One of the things that the Royals need to keep in mind is that in order to outshine Oakland, they will need the starting pitcher to last at least six innings. This is of critical importance, because their bullpen is not the best in major league baseball and the Royals have won very few games when they had to come from behind.
The A’s are also relying on a solid starting pitcher, with Jon Lester being one of the most experienced players in MLB. He used to compete for Boston Red Sox and he posted remarkable numbers back then, so it is only fair to assume that he won’t disappoint his team. He has so many games played in postseason that pressure is not going to be a problem for him, even though Oakland is not as strong as the Red Sox used to be when he was at the peak of form.
Those who watch baseball live every night are anxiously waiting for the playoffs begin, but they would make a mistake to overlook this tiebreaker. As far as punters are concerned, there are good reasons to side with the more experienced team, which tonight is Oakland. They have made several attempts in the previous years and even though their adventure in the playoffs ended abruptly, they have played against some tough opponents.