Chapman and Semien keep the basepaths busy
The engine for the Oakland offense lies squarely with third baseman Matt Chapman and shortstop Marcus Semien. Chapman is coming off a 2018 campaign in which he collected a Gold Glove and finished 7th in the MVP voting.
Early indications point to an even better 2019 season for Matt Chapman. Slashing .295/.384/.597, Chapman’s added 9 home runs and 22 RBIs. The 26-year-old right-handed slugger is also sporting a frightening 165 OPS+ and his 77 total bases leads the American League.
It should be fun to watch Chapman and Cincinnati’s Eugenio Suárez, two of baseball’s best young sluggers at the hot corner, battle each other during the three-game set.
Marcus Semien is having a career-year at the plate. A .251 hitter throughout his 7-year career, the 28-year-old shortstop is hitting .295 with a .381 OBP. Both of these numbers are well above his career averages. Is it a fluke? That remains to be seen, but he has only 3 hits in this last 21 at-bats.
As far as the long ball is concerned, you have to look no further than left fielder Khris Davis. The 31-year-old slugger doesn’t hit for average or get on base much, but what he does do is hit home runs and lots of them.
Davis currently leads the A’s with 10 round trippers and he’s coming off a year in which he clubbed 48 homers. Davis has drove in at least 102 runs the past 3 seasons and finished 8th, right behind teammate Matt Chapman, in the MVP race last year.
Lou Trivino has been the best weapon in the Oakland bullpen. The second year right-hander has only allowed 6 hits in 15 inning of work. Currently he leads the team with 7 holds and has fanned 18 hitters while only allowing 4 walks. If Blake Treinen is unavailable, look for Trivino to be called upon to slam the door.
The Oakland bullpen also features a couple of familiar names who are having a tough time in the Bay Area. Veteran right-handed relievers Joakim Soria and Fernando Rodney have been putting out fires with gasoline. The 34-year-old Soria is the owner of a 5.51 ERA and a 1.347 WHIP.
However, the 42-year-old Fernando Rodney has been even worse. The 17-year veteran sports a horrendous 8.78 ERA and a ghastly 1.950 WHIP. For the three-time former All-Star, the end of his career is clearly within sight.