2014 Battle of the Bay Series Preview


The Oakland A’s and San Francisco Giants will renew acquaintances in a 4-game interleague series this week. The first 2 games are Monday and Tuesday in Oakland and the last 2 are in San Francisco Wednesday and Thursday.

The two teams have played 96 regular season games against each other with the A’s holding a 50-46 advantage. The Giants have won just 5 of their last 13 games against Oakland and the A’s took last year’s series 3-1.

The pitching matchups are as follows.

First, for the 2 games at O.co Coliseum:

RHP Ryan Vogelsong (5-5, 3.86) vs. RHP Jesse Chavez (6-5, 3.23)
LHP Madison Bumgarner (9-6, 3.09) vs. RHP Sonny Gray (8-3, 3.08)

For the 2 games at AT&T Park:

RHP Jason Hammel (8-5, 2.98) vs. RHP Matt Cain (1-7, 4.27)
LHP Scott Kazmir (10-3, 2.53) vs. RHP Tim Hudson (7-5, 2.53)

The A’s made a huge trade recently with the Cubs and added Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel. The Giants will miss Samardzija this time around, which is OK since he earned his first win this season against them when he was with the Cubs.

Oakland comes in to this series holding first place in the AL West by 3.5 games over the Angels. The A’s have had the best record in baseball for 19 consecutive days and are still red-hot. Oakland just swept Toronto in a 4-game series at home and have won 15 of their last 21 games.

As you can see from the ERA of A’s starters above they are pitching well this season. During that 4-game sweep of Toronto this past weekend the A’s only allowed 4 total runs. Overall the A’s have the second lowest ERA in the majors (3.15) and opponents are hitting just .231, also second best in the majors.

They can hit too. The A’s lead the majors with 439 runs scored and boast the best run differential at +135. The A’s also lead the league in walks (346), are third in on base percentage (.332) and have the 4th fewest strikeouts (619).

The A’s had 6 players named to the All-Star team. Kazmir is the only one to have made it before. He will join first-timers Josh Donaldson, Derek Norris, Yoenis Cespedes, Brandon Moss, and Sean Doolittle. The Giants had just 2 players named to the “Midsummer Classic”, Bumgarner and Hunter Pence.

The A’s spread their offense around to everyone. The only player in the top 5 of any batting category is Donaldson. He’s tied for 3rd in runs scored in the AL.

The Giants started the season out on fire but have cooled as of late. The A’s have played winning baseball all season and don’t apear ready to stop anytime soon. Both these teams are in it to win it this season, so who knows, maybe we’ll see a rematch in October.

For more on this series check out Mark’s latest Chinwagging piece. He does a great job looking at where the Giants stand heading in to this series.