A.L. West Prediction: Oakland Athletics

Okay, last year wasn’t the year for the A’s demise. Is this the year?

Oakland Athletics fans have to feel like a spouse who keeps waiting for the other half to pack up and leave town. So many times in the past this team looked like it had one more shot at a championship but instead fans we’re treated to the trades of their best players at the All-Star break. Last year the A’s didn’t trade two of their best players and were rewarded with a playoff win. Two of those players, Khris Davis and Marcus Semien are now gone.

The Athletics “tried to keep“ Semien by offering him a 10-year contract at $1 million a year. The rest of the A’s have to be wondering why they’re playing for an organization that would make such an offer unless of course the offer didn’t require nine additional years playing at $1 million a year.

The good news for A’s fans is third baseman Matt Chapman is back from injury as is utility guy Jed Lowrie. Lowrie is solid but that one All-Star game appearance was an aberration. Chapman has the tools to put together a five or six year run of greatness. Outfielder Mark Canha has tremendous power but he ‘s only played in 120 games three times since 2015. Chad Pinder is a nice, serviceable utility guy. Elvis Andrus is a pro’s pro, but man he struggled in 2020 (.194 average). Matt Olson hit only a point better and also hopes to rebound from a horrific 2020 season. Stephen Piscotty is okay, I guess… as is Ramon Laureano.

On the mound, Chris Bassitt would be a number three starter, maybe a number two on a good staff with an ERA around 3.50. But after that who do the A’s have? On the mound they are hoping Jesus Luzardo can return the form. Sean Manaea looked like a Cy Young Award winner in 2019 when he posted a 1.29 ERA in his first five games before getting hurt. The jury is still out as to whether he is recovered from that injury.

Frankie Montas looks like a fifth starter. To say Cole Irvin has struggled is putting it mildly (6.89 career ERA in 20 games). Trevor Rosenthal will be solid in relief when he gets off of the injured list (3.36 career ERA). But who is the ace? That’s the real problem with this team. There is no number-one starter and if Bassett doesn’t equal his career best they don’t have a number two either.

I’m just not sure how this team is going to win games. The team is OK offensively. The starting pitching is a dumpster fire. There’s nobody on the 40-man roster gives me any hope that they’re going to come out of nowhere and start. Oh, and this is the Oakland A’s were talking about, and management can’t be trusted to not put a team together with the intent of selling off every last part. Bob Melvin has to be some sort of ninja… or a Zen Buddhist master. How else to explain how he hasn’t gone insane?

I’ve gone over every game on the schedule I come up with 60 wins.

Hey Oakland. Prove me wrong. Mmmmmmmmm.

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