Okay, I’m going to level with you. There was a lot of illness at Casa de Linden this weekend and not much research got done. Also, it’s just a two-game series, so we’re going to do things quick and dirty. Here we go…
Offense and Lineup:
The A’s are a very solid offensive team. While they lack one player who truly stands out, they have a lot of guys who bring offensive prowess with them to the ballpark as part of the way they earn their living. The real prize being third baseman Josh Donaldson. Consider this: They have five players who are at least semi-regulars who are getting on base at a better than .360 clip. There are also a few black holes, as you’ll see…
Also of note is John Jaso who is the back of catcher, but also DHs some. he has 205 plate appearances and a .745 OPS, which includes a .377 OBP.
The listed matchups at this writing are as follows:
Tuesday: Bronson Arroyo (6-5, 3.14) vs. Tommy Milone (6-7, 3.98)
Wednesday: Homer Bailey (4-5, 3.75) vs. A.J. Griffin (5-6, 3.90)
First, I have to point out that the Tuesday matchup sounds like the undercard in a Rocky movie. Second, I have to point out that the A’s starting pitching is not great, and that’s on display here. Milone and Griffen are both yonng and have some promise, but right now, they are nothing special and the Reds should be able to put some runs on the board. Certainly, it is the Reds who are fielding the better pitcher in both games.
The A’s do have an excellent bullpen, headed by closer Grant Balfour and his 2.03 ERA. I would not be surprised to see one or both of these games start with the Reds in the lead, only to become more interesting when the bullpens get involved.
The A’s and Reds are both very good ballclubs and they matchup well against each other. Calling for anything beyond a split seems foolish given how close they are, but the Reds are a little better and have at least a shot at taking both games. I’m sure all of us would love to see that.