Hey, remember that time in 2014 when the Royals were playing their very first playoff game in 30 years? And remember how the Royals humiliated them by analyzing their pitchers - particularly the ace they had traded for, Jon Lester, and their closer, Sean Doolittle - and ripping off 8 stolen bases en route to stealing the whole dang game? That was pretty fun, right?
The Athletics were demoralized by that loss in 2015, still, and the Royal won 5 of the 6 contests the two teams played. Since that time neither team has been particularly good but the Athletics have been bent on revenge. The Royals have only won 5 games while losing 13 since the start of 2016 despite being worse than the Royals in 2016 and 2017, overall.
At least the Athletics are maybe not terrible, this year, though. They’re 2 games over .500 though you’d never realize that since they’re sharing a division with the reigning world champs, the team that has Mike Trout AND Shohei Ohtani, and the upstart, division-leading Mariners. And, of course, the Coliseum is a dump. Poor Athletics. Let them have their wins, I guess. Just brings us closer to the first overall draft pick. Maybe we can even get someone better than Luke Hochevar, this time?
Danny Duffy will be pitching for the Royals. His recent stretch of good results was marred by another pretty ugly start last time out. Chris Bassitt will be making his first major league start since he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016. He had a 6.10 ERA for the Athletics’ AAA affiliate in 7 starts, this year, but paired it with a 3.97 FIP and a BABIP over .400.