The Royals are already ensured of a winning road trip, but they would like to finish off the week with a series win in Oakland, and to keep up with the Chicago White Sox who have also gotten off to a fast start at 8-3. The Athletics woke up a bit offensively yesterday, but still come into this game with the third-worst run scoring average in the American League at 2.83 runs per game.
The Royals, despite their success, have not been an offensive juggernaut either, averaging just 3.83 runs per game, below the league average of 3.95. Their strikeout rate is much higher than expected at 21.5%, led by an alarming strikeout rate of 38.6% by Alex Gordon.
The A's start Chris Bassitt, who has been decent for Oakland since being acquired last year in the Jeff Samardzija trade. The trade was panned at the time for being an underwhelming return for Oakland, but Samardzija had one disappointing season in Chicago before leaving, and the A's ended up getting three decent parts in Bassitt, infielder Marcus Semien, and catcher Josh Phegley.
Kris Medlen goes to the hill for the Royals after a solid outing in Houston earlier this week. He faces the Athletics for the first time in his career. Omar gets the day off despite being the Royals hottest hitter. I did not expect to write those words this season.
.@KrisMedlen54 takes the hill for the #Royals in today’s rubber match vs. the Athletics at 3:05 CT. #ForeverRoyal pic.twitter.com/mbxMDcDU8A— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) April 17, 2016
The A's lineup for today's rubber match with the Royals. pic.twitter.com/appEx9slty— Oakland Athletics (@Athletics) April 17, 2016