Pre-Series Notes: Blue Jays kick off West Coast swing with dead-last Oakland A’s
By Cam Lewis1 year ago
The Oakland A’s are the worst team in baseball right now with a 26-55 record.
This, of course, was by design, as the cheap-ass A’s are going through one of their teardowns. The team traded away Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, and Matt Olson over the off-season and are completely invested in losing a bunch of games while fielding a very inexpensive team.
The subheader of this teardown, though, is the A’s having their foot out the door in a very non-subtle way. Major League Baseball is actively pressuring the A’s to either leave Oakland for Las Vegas or have a new stadium built to replace the 56-year-old Oakland Colisseum and fans are complaining that ownership is pushing them away with overpriced tickets and parking.
The team could move to Vegas by as early as the 2025 season but, for now, they’re in Oakland, so we’ll focus on Matt Chapman returning home to face the rotting husk of his former team in a series the Blue Jays really should sweep. The A’s have won just six games since the start of June and the best OPS on their team is .699. Any losses here would be disappointing.
Alek Manoah vs. Cole Irvin
Alek Manoah will go up against Cole Irvin in the first game on Monday night.
The A’s are one of the few teams who has lit Manoah up during his big league career, as they scored six runs on him in five innings last September but that was when they weren’t actively trying to lose games.
Irvin has a nice 3.58 ERA over 13 starts but his peripheral numbers (6.2 strikeouts and 2.2 walks per nine) are right in line with last season when he put up a 4.24 ERA. Irvin had one dominant start against the Blue Jays last season in Oakland (one earned run in eight innings) and one terrible one in Toronto (seven earned runs in two-and-one-third innings)
Yusei Kikuchi vs. Adrian Marinez
Yusei Kikuchi pitched like his spot in the starting rotation was on the line last week against the Rays, turning in six innings while allowing just one run. Having spent his entire big league career in Seattle, Kikuchi knows the A’s very well. Through nine starts against them, Kikuchi owns a 3.19 ERA.
Going for Oakland in the second game will be rookie Adrian Martinez. He did well in his MLB debut, shutting out the Detroit Tigers over five-and-one-third innings, but Martinez got drilled in his second start, allowing seven earned runs in four-and-two-thirds to the Mariners. He has a 5.62 ERA in 13 starts in Triple-A this season otherwise.
Jose Berrios vs. James Kaprielian
The finale on Wednesday afternoon will be between Jose Berrios and James Kaprielian, another pitcher the Blue Jays have never seen.
Kaprielian was the first-round pick of the New York Yankees back in 2015 and was one of the players they sent to Oakland in exchange for Sonny Gray in 2017. He put up a 4.07 ERA over 24 appearances (21 starts) as a rookie in 2021 and has a 5.43 ERA through 12 starts this year. That said, Kaprielian has started to settle in recently, as he has a 3.24 ERA over his last three starts.
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