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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:57 PM

Monday's Best Bet

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Monday MLB Betting Preview
Oakland at Kansas City (8:15 p.m. ET)

Monday is a travel/off day for about half of the MLB teams as the winds of September approach, and it's both Wildcard races in the league that have got the bulk of the attention right now. One of the teams involved in the AL Wildcard race are the Oakland A's, and they are starting a week long stint on the road in Kansas City tonight.

After sweeping away the Yankees and taking three of four from Houston, Oakland let their guard down a bit over the weekend in dropping both home games with the Giants. Those defeats have left them trailing Tampa Bay by a half-game for that final Wildcard spot, although they are definitely still in the mix for hosting that Wildcard game as well.

It does mean that they can't slip up and look past a poor opponent in Kansas City to start this week, especially later in the week when Oakland's annual trip to Yankee Stadium might bring on some excitement. Take it game by game and the A's should be fine, although tonight's series opener does have it's own situational angle to take into consideration; Homer Bailey's return to Kansas City.

MLB Odds: Oakland (-155) vs Kansas City (+145)

We've seen some pitchers returning to old clubs not go so well for the pitcher's new team, with Washington's Patrick Corbin's return to Arizona resulting in a blowout Diamondbacks win quickly coming to mind. Tonight the A's are hoping that they don't follow suit in Homer Bailey's return to Kansas City, because they brought this guy in to win games and be a part of a playoff push, not drop games to former teammates and hurt Oakland's playoff push in the process.

Bailey is a guy that's already got plenty of detractors in general throughout the betting market, and seeing Bailey and the A's laying this type of chalk will prompt statements like “can you trust Homer Bailey laying 50 cents etc?” But I mean, sometimes the facts get in the way of a good narrative, and considering Oakland is 5-2 SU in Bailey's seven starts with the team since coming to Oakland, it's not like fading Bailey has been the best method of operation. Yes, his two losses were ugly ones on the road to Houston and the Cubs, but he bounced back on the road in his last road start (a win in San Francisco), and the two times he's been listed as a favorite of -150 or higher while with Oakland, the A's are 2-0 SU. It's not quite at the point where the question ultimately changes to “how can you NOT trust Homer Bailey laying just 50 cents”, but aside from this being a return to face his former team, this is a very good spot for Oakland.

For one, Oakland had a long cross-country flight last night to stew on the frustration that was their weekend series with the Giants. Dropping both of those games in the “battle of the Bay” was embarrassing, and steaming over it on the plane ride to Kansas City makes you concerned for Oakland's next opponent. With it being a very bad Royals team, it's a prime opportunity for a frustrated A's team to take out some of those frustrations and beat up on a bad Royals squad.

Secondly, this 'homecoming' for Bailey tonight is barely that, as he spent all of the first few months of this season in KC before being moved on. That's not nearly the time spent where today becomes overly emotional for him or Bailey gets caught up in the distraction of seeing old faces around the ballpark. In Corbin's case with the Nationals/Diamondbacks example I mentioned earlier, Corbin had 7 solid years being a part of the city of Arizona and that entire franchise, so strong relationships were established. That's always going to be the more emotional outing, and that's not going to be the case for Bailey in KC after spending a few months in a Royals uniform.

Finally, we can't forget that it's the 46-85 Kansas City Royals on the other side of the diamond and that they are a team that has only won consecutive games one time since July 25th. Given that they blew a big lead to Cleveland in the 9th inning yesterday, only to be saved by a Ryan O'Hearn HR in extras, that failure to win consecutive games is applicable tonight after yesterday's win. KC is also just 17-35 SU after their last 52 wins dating back to last year, so it's not like not being able to win two in a row is a new phenomenon for this Royals franchise. With KC on a 1-7 SU run in their last eight at home, 0-5 SU in Brad Keller's last five starts overall, and 2-7 SU in their last nine series openers, Oakland really is the only way to go.

Best Bet: Oakland ML



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