Kansas City Royals vs Oakland Athletics: Who has the Upper Hand


Well, today is the day that the Kansas City Royals fan-base has been waiting on for the past 29 seasons. It doesn’t seem real. It doesn’t feel like we are a couple of weeks away from making history. It also doesn’t feel like the KC Royals season could be done today.

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It just doesn’t seem fair that after 29 years of anguish, today is all the Royals have to prove they are worthy of a real playoff series. Regardless, the Boys in Blue have got to make it happen.

Let’s look at who has the upper-hand for tomorrow’s game:

First of all, it must be stated that the Royals have had the Athletics’ number throughout the season series. The Royals are 5-2 in the seven games that they have played against each other this season despite Oakland outscoring Kansas City in head-to-head match-ups.

In addition, obviously, the Royals hold the advantage of having a packed Kauffman Stadium cheering for them.

Let’s look at the pitching match-up:

The Royals went 16-3 during that stretch in games that were not against pitchers named Jon Lester.

James Shields is James Shields. This is why the Royals and Dayton Moore went out and made “The Trade”. Shields got us to the promise land, now let’s see if he can guide us through it.

However, on the mound for the opposing Athletics is Royals-killer Jon Lester. This is also why the A’s and Billy Beane went out and got Jon Lester at the deadline.

In a stretch of three weeks after the All-Star Break, during the Royals’ hottest streak of the season, the Royals faced Lester three times. Kansas City lost all three.

The Kansas City Royals went 16-3 during that stretch in games that were not against pitchers named Jon Lester. Each team has their ideal man on the mound, however, Jon Lester’s dominance over the Royals give the A’s the advantage on the mound.

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A's slug their way past Kansas City, wins 6-4
A's slug their way past Kansas City, wins 6-4 /

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  • The bullpen advantage goes to Kansas City. Although Oakland may have the better bullpen statistically, no one can compete with the trio of Kelvin Hererra, Wade Davis, and Greg Holland.

    When it comes down to a one game series with your aces on the mound, you’re only going to need 3-4 innings of relief, maximum. The A’s don’t have dominant options like those three relievers for Kansas City.

    The defensive advantage also belongs to Kansas City. With four potential Gold Glove winners in 2014, it is hard to compete with the Kansas City defense. Not to mention the amount of runs saved in the outfield between Gordon and Cain.

    They rank 4th and 5th of all major leaguers in that category. The A’s downgraded on defense after they traded Cespedes to Boston at the Break.

    It’s hard for me to give the offensive advantage to Oakland because I’m biased, but it’s undeniable. We’ve got the talent to explode on offense if only for the night, buy Billy Beane and the “Moneyball” strategies are all about scoring runs.

    That is what they do; they are fourth in all of Major League Baseball with 729 runs scored. Kansas City has only scored 651 runs this season.

    Kansas City has the advantage in bench players. In a one game series, the only thing that matters on your bench is pinch runners and pinch hitters. Although Oakland may have better pinch hitters, Josh Willingham, Raul Ibanez, and Christian Colon aren’t terrible options off the bench.

    With two of the fastest players in the league on your bench in Jarrod Dyson and Terrance Gore, it’s hard for Oakland to beat that. The speedsters have already showed us “what speed do”.

    Even including all the bias in this article, I still think it is a very even match-up and it should be a memorable game. In the end, I’m predicting a 3-2 Royals win. LET’S GO ROYALS!