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Series Preview: Moneyball!

Remember when the Oakland Athletics traded Josh Donaldson to the Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie, Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman, and Franlin Barreto? LOOOOOOOOOOOL. All they have to show for that is… Barreto, who’s a good prospect, and a Triple-A starting pitcher. Lawrie was dealt after a year for a couple of whatever prospects and Nolin was claimed off waivers in 2016.

Anyways, it’s always a good time when the Athletics face the Jays because it’s fun to visualize Billy Beane (but the Brad Pitt version) having to sit there and watch the MVP he traded away for a bag of rocks. 

Thursday at 7:07 ET

Andrew Triggs has been pretty bad this season. He’s only put together two quality starts in eight outings and he owns a 5.31 ERA for the season. His peripherals, 9.7 strikeouts and 3.7 walks per nine, suggest he’s been a little better than his ERA would indicate, but Triggs has frequently struggled with a high pitch count getting him pulled early from games. Aaron Sanchez will start for the Jays. After a great stretch of five consecutive quality starts, Sanchez has struggled in his past two outings, going three-and-two-thirds against Tampa Bay and five innings against Boston. The alarming number for Sanchez is the 4.9 per nine walks next to his 6.2 strikeouts per nine.

Friday at 7:07 ET

Old friend alert! Brett Anderson, who you may or may not remember (I wouldn’t blame you at all for tuning this point in time completely out), was once a Toronto Blue Jay! It came last September when the Jays inked the lefty to a minor league deal. He was recalled for the final month of the season when the Jays were hanging together by a thread and made seven starts posting a 5.13 ERA. This year, he’s three starts with Oakland: one was good, one was horrific, and one was decent. All told, Anderson has allowed 13 runs 14 1/3 innings. He’ll go against Marco Estrada who’s allowed four or more runs in five of his last six outings.

Saturday at 1:07 ET

Holy mismatch! Sean Manaea has emerged as Oakland’s ace this season. In the month of April, Manaea was untouchable. He made six starts, threw 43 2/3 innings, and allowed just five runs. He no-hit the Boston Red Sox and only once failed to make it through at least seven innings. Since the beginning of May, though, Manaea has hit a bit of a rough patch. In his last three outings, he’s allowed 11 runs over 17 2/3 innings. The Joe Biagini experiment will continue for Toronto on Saturday. The Jays’ sixth starter has made three spot starts at the big league level this year. In only one of them has he made it beyond the fifth inning.

Sunday at 1:07 ET

Daniel Mengden’s pitching this year has been better than his facial hair. He owns a 3.75 ERA through nine starts and has only issued five walks over a span of 50 1/3 innings. Save for a bad outing a couple weeks ago in Houston, Mengden hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since his season opener against the Angels. Jaime Garcia has been quite bad as of late. He allowed six runs over three-and-a-third against the Mets, who can’t hit, meaning he has just one quality start for the season, and that came in his season opener against the White Sox.