You can’t say that a 12-11 baseball team is playing great baseball over the first month of the season, but all things considered, the Oakland Athletics have been keeping pace thus far. The Athletics have a knack for sneaking up every few years or so, and maybe they can turn this season into something productive. The way the A’s operate, with their moneyball approach, it’s extremely difficult to pinpoint the kind of year they’re going to have on a year-to-year basis.
They don’t load up and max out their budget on contracts. It’s never been their modus operandi. Also, the Athletics just dumped their ace, Sonny Gray, in a trade with the Yankees last season. This all on the heels of a 5th place finish in the AL West. Khris Davis is of course a name that most baseball fans would know, but other than him, there aren’t any heavy hitters anyone would get excited over.
The Athletics have won three games in a row and are 7-1 in their last eight games. They’ve been swinging the bats and connecting. This likely isn’t going to develop into anything worthwhile, but after a 75-87 season, the A’s just want to see some progress. The Tigers are another team who didn’t have a good year in 2017, but would like to see some promise there at least. Texas seen a bunch of promise last night, as the A’s blasted the Rangers by a score of 9-4. Cole Hamels will try and get the Rangers in the win column on Tuesday. Head below for our free Athletics vs. Rangers pick.
Oakland Athletics vs. Texas Rangers Pick
Andrew Triggs (1-0, 5.82 ERA) vs. Cole Hamels (1-3, 4.50 ERA)
With Sonny Gray out of the rotation, there are opportunities for others to step up. This is a big year for Andrew Triggs, who lasted until June last season before going down with a hip injury. His last two starts of 2017 resulted in 6 runs and 8 runs allowed, so he didn’t go out too swimmingly. Balls were raining down in his last start, as he spent just 1.1 innings on the mound, allowing 5 hits and 6 runs right out of the gate. It did nothing to help his ERA, which has ballooned to 7.50 ERA with a 1.67 WHIP in the last three outings. He opened the season with a 3-1 win over the Rangers, but we’ll see how the batters manage after seeing him recently.
Lefty Cole Hamels will get the call for the Rangers. The former ace has seen better days, but he’s been at this in the majors since 2006. Time will eventually start catching up to him. However, he is still a decent enough option in a rotation. Like Triggs, Hamels has already seen his opponent this season. He was solid allowing just 1 run in a 4-1 win.
Hamels does not like to see Khris Davis at the plate, though. In only 13 at-bats, Davis has hit 3 deep balls, along with 5 RBI’s. As a team, this current A’s roster has hit Hamels for a BA of .316. The Athletics have also been good against left-handed pitching in 2018, with a .277 average. Overall, in their last three games, they’ve hit .301 and scored 7.2 runs per game. Both pitchers had their way in the first meeting, but I expect things to open up offensively on Tuesday.