At 6-7 the Oakland Athletics find themselves at the top of a struggling AL West division. The A’s have the ability to build some momentum in the division this week, coming off of another average week against the Astros and a tough, scrappy weekend series in Kansas City. Things got way too chippy against the Royals, with multiple ejections and Royals’ pitchers continually throwing at Brett Lawrie through Sunday’s game.
To start the coming week, the A’s fly into Los Angeles / Anaheim to take on their divisional rivals, the Angels. The four-game series provides an opportunity for either team to take a bit of a lead against the other and likely against the rest of the division.
Here are the expected pitching match-ups for the series against the Angels - all times in PST:
- Monday, 4/20, 7:05pm, Kendall Graveman (1-1) vs. Matt Shoemaker (2-0)
- Tuesday, 4/21, 7:05pm, Drew Pomeranz (1-1) vs. Hector Santiago (1-1)
- Wednesday, 4/22, 7:05pm, Sonny Gray (1-0) vs. Jered Weaver (0-2)
- Thursday, 4/23, 4:05pm, Jesse Hahn (1-1) vs. C.J. Wilson (1-2)
Predictions: The A’s need at least a split here. Both teams will be coming in from the middle of the country on Sunday evening so the Angels shouldn’t have much of an advantage on Monday night, outside of playing at home. Gray vs. Weaver on Wednesday night could be something special, despite Gray’s performance this past Friday night in Kansas City and Weaver’s underwhelming start to the season.
The A’s will then return to Oakland for a three-game, weekend series against the Astros. The Athletics took two of three from the Astros in Houston earlier this past week and will be sending out the same three starters from that series. The expected pitching match-ups for the weekend series are as follows:
- Friday, 4/24, 7:05pm, Scott Kazmir (2-0) vs. Dallas Keuchel (2-0)
- Saturday, 4/25, 1:05pm, Kendall Graveman (1-1) vs. Scott Feldman (0-2)
- Sunday, 4/26, 1:05pm, Drew Pomeranz (1-1) vs. Asher Wojciechowski (0-1)
Predictions: While it would be nice to see a sweep here for the A’s, it would be almost as nice to simply have Oakland win another series, taking two of three. Drew Pomeranz will look to make up for his poor performance against the Astros this past week to close out the series next Sunday.
Stephen Vogt and Ike Davis continue to swing a hot bat, both moving their early season OBP’s to well over .400 so far this season Scott Kazmir has been brilliant on the mound so far this season - despite a no decision on Sunday, while ex-starter turned reliever Jesse Chavez has been one of the few bright spots in the A’s bullpen. In three appearances and three innings pitched, Chavez has given up only one hit and has not given up a single run.
RP Dan Otero took the loss on Friday night in Kansas City and his season is off to a terrible start. After a very strong 2014, the league may have enough tape on Otero to know his tendencies. Also mentioned last weekend, Eric O’Flaherty blew Sunday’s game for the A’s and also continues to struggle out of the bullpen.
A’s Roster Movement
All was quiet this past week for Billy Beane’s Oakland A’s when it comes to roster movement.