Oakland Athletics: A’s are elite thanks to the unknown on their roster
Before the 2018 regular season began, the Oakland Athletics were a forgotten franchise. Oakland wasn’t going to crack the national headlines unless the Raiders or Warriors did something noteworthy (They have!). However, the A’s have outperformed expectations and are currently one of the best teams in baseball. Entering Monday’s game versus Seattle, the Athletics were tied for 10th in the MLB in pitching. They were ranked 7th in hitting. It’s crazy how good the A’s have been this year.
It’s truly been a collective effort from top to bottom. Khris Davis is flashing his power stroke once again in 2018. The slugger has 34 homers and 93 RBIs. Jed Lowrie is hitting .267 and he is second on the team in RBIs with 70. Former St. Louis Cardinal Stephen Piscotty leads the team in doubles with 29. Marcus Semien leads the A’s in hits with 124; first baseman Matt Olson has smacked 22 homers and collected 55 ribbies. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, third baseman Matt Chapman and center fielder Mark Canha each have 40 or more RBIs.
The A’s don’t have a bona fide number one starter, but they’ve received enough help from a variety of arms. In 24 starts this season, Sean Manaea has 3.50 ERA and has held opponents to a .224 average. Trevor Cahill has also made an imprint on the Athletics this season. The right-hander has surrendered only 24 walks in 79.2 innings pitched. Hitters are .222 against him.
The bullpen has some elite performers and has helped make things a bit easier on skipper Bob Melvin. Yusmeiro Petit has recorded a 3.22 ERA in 72.2 innings pitched. In his last 15 games, Petit has an ERA of 1.99; he’s allowed only eight walks in his last 39.2 innings pitched. Closer Blake Treinen has 30 saves and has held opponents to a .171 average.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT WITH THE OAKLAND ATHLETICS?
Sure it’s unclear how long the A’s can perform at a high level. But, with the front office acquiring Jeurys Familia, Fernando Rodney, and Shawn Kelley, it’s to be expected that Oakland is going to fight until they have no more gas in the tank. The A’s have done everything right to this point. It’s just a matter of what they do with that next step.
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