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Oak Land Athletics series preview: Watch their third baseman?

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MLB: Tampa Bay Rays at Oakland Athletics Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Despite their 29-28 record, the Oak Land Athletics find themselves in fourth place in their division, the strong American League West. Getting 5.4 fWAR from their position players and 5.1 fWAR from their pitchers, they are a well-balanced team.

Game times and pitching matchups are as follows:

  • Friday, June 1 — 7:15 PM CDT — Frankie Montas versus Ian Kennedy
  • Saturday, June 2 — 1:15 PM CDT — Trevor Cahill versus Jason Hammel
  • Sunday, June 3 — 1:15 PM CDT — Daniel Gossett versus Jakob Junis

All stats courtesy of FanGraphs and Baseball Reference

Athletics at Royals pitching matchups

Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Pitcher G IP K K% BB BB% ERA FIP xFIP SIERA fWAR rWAR
Game 1
Frankie Montas 1 6.0 7 30.4 2 8.7 1.50 1.79 3.68 3.42 0.2 0.2
Ian Kennedy 11 57.2 54 20.8 20 7.7 5.15 4.32 4.31 4.33 0.7 0.1
Game 2
Trevor Cahill 7 44.0 41 24.6 9 5.4 2.25 3.12 2.86 3.03 1.0 1.5
Jason Hammel 11 65.1 43 15.0 18 6.3 5.23 4.12 4.83 4.80 0.7 0.2
Game 3
Daniel Gossett 4 19.1 11 13.1 6 7.1 6.05 5.76 5.08 5.09 -0.2 -0.2
Jakob Junis 11 67.1 62 22.1 17 6.1 3.61 4.53 4.19 3.93 0.5 1.6

Twice included in three-team deals, the involuntarily itinerant Frankie Montas looked poised to break out in 2016 after a September call-up to close out his 2015. A rib resection surgery (though not one to treat thoracic outlet syndrome) and another broken rib later, he’d missed the bulk of 2016. 2017 saw him pitch a bit in the minors and then pitch poorly out of Oak Land’s bullpen before missing most of the last two months of the season with an oblique injury. Finally maybe healthy for the first time since 2015, Montas made nine middling starts in AAA this season before his promotion last week to fill in for oft-injured Brett Anderson. Montas throws a pair of serious, high-90s heaters—living primarily off his a two-seamer he’s only thrown for the past couple years—coupled with a slider. He also toys with a changeup, but only threw it a couple times in his first start five days ago.

Trevor Cahill has been very good, much to Kansas City’s chagrin. Asses are chapped clean off.

Daniel Gossett is not related to Louis Gossett, Jr. He’s been pretty terrible, so prepare yourselves for a Cy Gossett sighting.

Oak Land Athletics position players

Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Name Pos PA HR R RBI SB AVG OBP SLG wOBA wRC+ fWAR rWAR
Jed Lowrie (S) 2B 246 9 20 39 0 .299 .362 .493 .367 135 1.9 2.2
Matt Chapman 3B 233 9 33 23 0 .228 .318 .427 .325 106 1.7 2.5
Marcus Semien SS 259 5 35 24 4 .268 .320 .383 .307 94 1.2 1.4
Matt Olson (L) 1B 228 9 25 21 2 .236 .320 .429 .326 106 0.6 0.8
Chad Pinder Util 119 5 16 12 0 .252 .328 .449 .335 112 0.5 0.9
Jonathan Lucroy C 164 1 15 12 0 .253 .313 .347 .293 84 0.4 0.3
Khris Davis DH/LF 209 13 24 38 0 .237 .311 .500 .346 120 0.4 0.6
Mark Canha OF 146 7 19 20 0 .231 .295 .440 .312 97 0.3 0.4
Matt Joyce (L) LF 190 7 22 12 0 .199 .312 .379 .305 92 0.2 0.1
Dustin Fowler (L) CF 52 1 4 7 3 .174 .250 .304 .245 51 0.1 0.3
Franklin Barreto 2B/SS 7 0 0 0 0 .000 .143 .000 .098 -49 -0.1 -0.3
Bruce Maxwell (L) C 55 0 4 4 0 .154 .182 .231 .180 7 -0.5 -0.4
Stephen Piscotty RF 189 3 20 19 0 .227 .286 .349 .279 75 -0.6 -0.8

The A’s position players are the 19th-best unit per FanGraphs’ WAR, worth 5.4 wins. Taking to a power-driven approach, they’re slashing .237/.308/.405 with a .310 wOBA and 96 wRC+. Their .169 ISO ranks ninth in baseball, but is just .004 out of fifth. Matt Chapman, Marcus Semien, and Jed Lowrie provided the lion’s share of their production. Chapman is a defensive wizard at third. His 13 DRS is the best of any defensive player in baseball by three runs (Carlos Gomez has 10 DRS in RF so far). His 4.8 UZR is only fourth-best in baseball. He’s also got some pretty serious power—hung 30 dongs between AAA and Oak Land last year. Lowrie has cooled off after a hot start, but his 135 wRC+ is tied for 30th-best of qualified hitters. Semien may miss another game or two, as he’s been put on the paternity list. For completely baffling reasons though, top prospect Franklin Barreto will probably continue to languish on the A’s bench, where he’s gotten just seven trips to the plate in roughly 20 days on the 25-man roster.

Poll

How will the Royals fare against Oak Land?

This poll is closed

  • 8%
    Royals sweep
    (11 votes)
  • 29%
    Royals take two of three
    (40 votes)
  • 47%
    A’s take two of three
    (65 votes)
  • 15%
    A’s sweep, Sophie B. Hawkins catalog sales skyrocket
    (21 votes)
137 votes total Vote Now