The Kansas City Royals begin the month of July with a trip out west for three games each against the Oakland Athletics and Arizona Diamondbacks. Oakland currently holds the best record in baseball, and some Vegas odds-makers even give them the edge over the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. There’s no denying that KC will have their hands full when they visit the Coliseum on Friday.
It isn’t by accident that the A’s keep hold of the league’s best record. Oakland’s 505 RBIs and 399 walks both lead the MLB so far this season, and they rank frighteningly highly in several other significant categories. The A’s are currently fifth league-wide with 112 total HR, sixth in team on-base percentage and eighth in SLG%. Their team ERA of 3.19 is the fourth-lowest in baseball, and their pitching core is very balanced — the A’s combined starters’ ERA ranks fourth and the ERA among relievers ranks fifth.
It looks like the A’s are the AL’s best team, because they’re getting production from expected and unexpected sources, alike. The mostly unheralded Stephen Vogt already has 5 HRs and 23 RBIs with a .530 SLG% in just 45 games this season. Both Brandon Moss and Josh Donaldson already have 23 HRs and more than 70 RBIs, which may wind up being more than any Royal produces this entire season. You may also notice that both of those totals are larger than that of two-time Home Run Derby champ Yoenis Cespedes. He’s only got 17 homers and 67 RBIs so far this year — still better than any Royal in both categories.