Season Preview- Oakland Athletics

The Oakland Athletics are the crowd sourced favorites to win the American League West.  Let’s hope the Angels can rain on their parade. Oakland’s roster can be seen here. Their starters are all projected to have winning records. The American League West could end up being a three way dogfight, although the Angels are projected to have a much worse rotation.  The below stats came from Baseball Reference.

Overview Of Their Schedule

The schedule of the Oakland Athletics has them playing at home both to open the season and to end the regular season. It’s not as cushy as it sounds, since they open their season with two series against Houston sandwiching a series with the Dodgers. It eases up with a couple games against the Diamondbacks and four games against the Tigers where they will apparently get to feast on some of that premier pitching from Julio Teheran. They finish out April playing Minnesota, Baltimore, and Tampa Bay.

In May, They get more Baltimore followed by Toronto and Tampa Bay. They go on a road trip to Boston and then Minnesota. They have a short three game home stand against the Astros before they come to Anaheim May 21 through 23. They close out May at home against Seattle and then the Angels.

They go on a road trip to Seattle and Colorado followed by a home stand against Arizona, Kansas City, and the Angels. They go on a long road trip to see the Yankees, Rangers and San Francisco although the latter is not far from home. They face Texas at home to close out June.

They also play Boston at home followed by a road trip to Houston and Texas before the All-Star break. After the break, they face Cleveland and then the Angels at home. A road trip to Seattle, San Diego, and Anaheim takes them into August.

Oakland now has a short home stand against San Diego and Texas before a long road trip to Cleveland, Texas, and the White Sox. They close out August with a home stand against San Francisco, Seattle, and the Yankees.

In September they go on a road trip to Detroit and Toronto followed by a home stand against the White Sox and Texas. They face Kansas City and the Angels on the road before finishing out the regular season at home against Seattle and the Astros. If the projections are correct, that final Astros series could determine who wins the American League West.

The Oakland Athletics Projected Rotation

Their projected rotation in no particular order:

LHP Sean Manaea Spring stats 12 IP, 1.250 WHIP, 2.40 SO/W; Projection 136 IP, 1.184 WHIP, 3.18 SO/W and a 10-7 record.

RHP Frankie Montas Spring stats 6 IP 1.167 WHIP, 6.00 SO/W; Projection 140 IP, 1.321 WHIP, 2.84 SO/W and a 10-8 record.

RHP Chris Bassitt Spring stats 10.1 IP, 0.871 WHIP, 6.00 SO/W; Projection 156 IP, 1.250 WHIP, 2.71 SO/W and a 10-7 record.

LHP Jesus Luzardo Spring stats 10.2 IP, 1.125 WHIP, 2.75 SO/W; Projection 125 IP, 1.248 WHIP, 3.02 SO/W and a 7-6 record.

RHP Mike Fiers No spring stats available. Projection 157 IP, 1.293 WHIP, 2.44 SO/W and a 12-7 record.

LHP A.J. Puk (In the event Mike Fiers remains injured) Spring stats 3.2 IP 2.182 WHIP, 1.67 SO/W; Projection 26 IP, 1.308 WHIP, 2.70 SO/W and a 2-1 record.

Using Fiers instead of Puk in examining their top five guys, this comes to a total of 714 innings pitched to a combined record of 49-35. By way of contrast, Bundy, Heaney, Quintana, Canning, and Cobb are projected to pitch 686 innings to a combined record of 38-45. (It is kind of hard to find spring stats or projections for Ohtani as a pitcher. Everybody seems more comfortable projecting him as a designated hitter.)

The Oakland Athletics Projected Lineup

There is a lot of consistency in their batters 1-6 through the order in terms of OPS and slugging but the numbers drop off among the lighter hitting batters in the bottom of the order, as one might expect. For comparison, Trout and Rendon are projected to be head and shoulders above all of these guys in terms of OPS, while Ohtani, J. Iglesias, Suzuki, and Walsh are projected to be at least comparable to Oakland’s 1-6. Fletcher is projected to have a better batting average than any of Oakland’s hitters, although his OPS suffers because of the power component. The rest of the Angels hitters are projected to compare to Oakland’s 7-9 hitters or below. There’s no projection at all for Jose Rojas. Cross your fingers.

  1. Ramon Laureano had 28 plate appearances so far this spring for a .300/.500/.800 line. He is projected to have 548 plate appearances for .260/.339/.452 with an OPS of .791. He has reportedly been picking the brain of Elvis Andrus about stealing bases this spring. He is currently 22 for 26 stealing bases in the majors.
  2. Mark Canha had 43 plate appearances so far this spring for a .156/.372/.156 line. He is projected to have 578 plate appearances for .249/.361/.449 with an OPS of .810.
  3. Matt Chapman had 44 plate appearances so far this spring for a .171/.341/.457 line. He is projected to have 472 plate appearances for .252/.335/.494 with an OPS of .829.
  4. Matt Olson had 42 plate appearances so far this spring for a .317/.333/.780 line. He is projected to have 585 plate appearances for .244/.337/.477 with an OPS of .814.
  5. Sean Murphy had 20 plate appearances so far this spring for a .235/.350/.706 line. He is projected to have 395 plate appearances for .240/.341/.444 with an OPS of .785.
  6. Mitch Moreland had 32 plate appearances so far this spring for a .185/.281/.296 line. He is projected to have 439 plate appearances for .242/.322/.461 with an OPS of .783.
  7. Stephen Piscotty had 35 plate appearances so far this spring for a .200/.286/.433 line. He is projected to have 470 plate appearances for .245/.310/.425 with an OPS of .719.
  8. Tony Kemp had 36 plate appearances so far this spring for a .222/.389/.444 line. He is projected to have 382 plate appearances for .236/.326/.376 with an OPS of .702.
  9. Elvis Andrus had 38 plate appearances so far this spring for a .171/.237/.257 line. He is projected to have 415 plate appearances for .251/.304/.377 with an OPS of .682.

Their Projected Bullpen

Their bullpen doesn’t look all that intimidating on paper, other than Yusmeiro Petit. In no particular order, they have:

Trevor Rosenthal RHP Spring stats 3 IP, 2.000 WHIP, 1.550 SO/W; Projection 58.0 IP, 1.362 WHIP, 2.20 SO/W.

Jake Diekman LHP Spring stats 6 IP, 0.167 WHIP, 7.00 SO/W; Projection 60.0 IP, 1.350 WHIP, 2.26 SO/W.

Sergio Romo RHP Spring stats 3 IP, 2.000 WHIP, 2.5 SO/W; Projection 59.0 IP, 1.288 WHIP, 2.73 SO/W.

Lou Trivino RHP Spring stats 6.1 IP, 0.632 WHIP, 2.67 SO/W; Projection 62.0 IP, 1.339 WHIP, 2.29 SO/W.

Adam Kolarek LHP Spring stats 6 IP, 1.667 WHIP, 2.50 SO/W; Projection 56.0 IP, 1.232 WHIP, 2.63 SO/W.

Yusmeiro Petit RHP Spring stats 4.2 IP, 2.357 WHIP, 5.00 SO/W; Projection 62.0 IP, 1.161 WHIP, 3.11 SO/W.

Their Projected Bench

Catcher Aramis Garcia had 25 plate appearances so far this spring for a .333/.440/.476 line. He is projected to have 415 plate appearances for .234/.307/.413 with an OPS of .720.

Utility Chad Pinder had 44 plate appearances so far this spring for a .417/.523/.806 line. He is projected to have 319 plate appearances for .243/.308/.413 with an OPS of .721.

4th outfielder Ka’ai Tom had 24 plate appearances so far this spring for a .450/.542/.800 line. There is no regular season projection available for him on Baseball Reference.

Bench Infielder Jed Lowrie had 31 plate appearances so far this spring for a .214/.258/.500 line. He is projected to have 201 plate appearances for .244/.330/.415 with an OPS of .745.

Photo credit: Rex Fregosi

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jco
Trusted Member
jco
2 years ago

Remarkably, Fangraphs projects the Angels, Astros, and Athletics to rank 17,18,19 in that order in starting pitcher WAR (https://blogs.fangraphs.com/2021-positional-power-rankings-starting-rotation-no-16-30). Nothing in it strikes me as too optimistic on the Angels projections, although I think the healths of each starter is a tad optimistic (Heaney at 168 IP seems unlikely to me).

JackFrost
Super Member
2 years ago

Well, the A’s are a pretty consistent bunch. Year after year they remain competitive, despite their ultimate failure to make it to the World Series.

This year they lost Semien, but they added Andrus. Olson could have a break-out MVP type of season in 2021.
But the main thing is that their starting pitching should be a lot better than it normally is.

I look for the A’s to win 94 games this year and take the AL West crown. I think the Angels could surprise and finish second in the division by winning 90 games ( this, despite our horrible SP.) Whether or not those 90 wins will be enough to get a Wild Card, we’ll have to wait and see.,,

But the A’s I think could be ready to take the next step and finally make it to the series on the backs of starters like Luzardo, Montas, Bassitt etc.

Then again, they could choke in the playoffs. But it is a pretty good bet that they’ll be there.

Jeff Joiner
Editor
Legend
2 years ago

Year after year they reload. I think they will again be in the West race, probably win it.

LanaBanana
Super Member
2 years ago

Even when they aren’t the favorites going in, they always seem to do better than it looks like they should.

GrandpaBaseball
Legend
2 years ago

Crowd sourced American League West Champs, what happened to the Houston Asstros?

red floyd
Legend
2 years ago

They got trash canned