Thursday, April 21, 2011

MARINERS: Oakland series preview

A's starter Brett Anderson
9-9, third in AL West. On a 1-game losing streak.

MLB Ranks: Hitting: 23rd in runs, 19th in AVG, 25th in RBI, 28th in home runs.
                    Pitching: 1st in ERA, 5th in strikeouts, 9th LOWEST in walks.

Best hitter: As you can see from the rankings above, the A’s aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut. Their best hitter power-wise is the aging Hideki Matsui, who hit 21 home runs in 2010, but only has 2 this year. Expect Matsui to work a lot of 3-2 counts, get walks, strikeouts, and occasionally send one deep.

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Overall, their best hitter is catcher Kurt Suzuki. He’s got a .241 AVG right now, but as a career average of .263 in his career and has averaged 8.6 Home runs per season.

Okay, I’ll admit it. Oakland doesn’t have alone a very good lineup right now, let alone a star hitter. And with their fielding abilities, you wonder how they’re 9-9 right now. Here’s your answer: Pitching.

Best Pitcher: After an injury plagued 2010 season, Brett Anderson is off to a rip-roaring start to the season, only having given up 5 earned runs through 27 innings so far. The 23-year old doesn’t have super nasty stuff, but is in kind of the Jason Vargas mold in the respect of him aiming for groundballs and broken bats, rather than multiple strikeouts.

Think of the A’s as your 2009 Seattle Mariners. Great pitching around the board, and just enough offense to squeak out a win (81-81 record in 2010). All of Oakland’s starters are 27 years old or younger, so expect them to be around for a while.

scheduled pitchers (in order of appearance): Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister.

A’s scheduled pitchers: Brandon McCarthy, Tyron Ross, Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson

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