The Oakland A’s are having a roller coaster of a season. The start to the season left a lot to be desired. Then there was a brief winning streak, followed by more losing followed by rays of hope. Yes, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel for the Athletics (25-29) sitting just 6.5 games back of the first place Texas Rangers (31-22), and currently riding a 5 game winning streak. Today the Athletics face a division foe close on their heels, the Houston Astros (25-30) who’s riding a wave of their own. winners of 8 of their last 10 games.
During this current win streak Oakland has shown glimpses of grit, and glimpses of what it looks like when firing on all cylinders. winning a game by as much as 9 runs, and grinding a game out and winning by 1 run. First year Athletic Khris Davis hit 11 homers in the month of May, and staying consistent in the A’s resurgent by driving in runs. The big Bat of Danny Valencia came alive against Toronto and he makes you believe he may rock one every time he comes to the plate. Overall this team has a line up that should be over .500 with solid players such as the base stealing threat Billy Burns, whom is 5th in the MLB with 12 stolen bases, Marcus Semien, and veteran Coco Crisp.
Pitching has been the biggest issue for the Athletics, with a collective ERA of 4.63. Good for 26th in the MLB. The team also ranks near the bottom in runs given up with 260. Rich Hill has been Oakland’s one true shining star on the bump, with 8 wins. Hill ranks second in ERA currently at 2.25,and ranks 2nd in the American League with 74 strikeouts (5th overall).
Tonight Oakland will have Jesse Hahn (2-2 record 4.15 ERA) on the mound facing the Astros at 5:00pm pacific facing Doug Fister (4-3 record 3.86 ERA). With both teams experiencing off and on streaks, and first place seeming attainable, this is a game and also a series worth paying attention too. Even in June.