Archive for the ‘AL West’ Category

A’s-Angels Series: A’s Are Good, Angels…meh

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While I realize that the A’s and the Tigers have already split the first two games of their weekend series, I still wanted to note what I saw during the preceding A’s and Angels series. I watched almost all of that series.

The A’s flashed their power all series long. Though they can thump up and down the lineup, Yoenis Cespedis shows some serious power. Note that in the highlight video, you can’t see where the ball actually landed as the camera is focused on the rocks behind the wall but the ball lands somewhere high among them. Remeber that the A’s swept the series, outscoring the overwhelmed Angels 28-11. The Angels only retired A’s batters in order 3 times in the entire series, meaning there were too many baserunners for a lineup with ample power.

I remember last season listening to baseball announcers talk about how the A’s were offensively anemic because they had a low team batting average. After shouting at the screen about the stupidity of that “analysis,” I looked at their stats, and they looked terrible when filtered through a batting average lens. But when park-adjusted, the A’s actually put up the 8th-highest True Average in baseball last year. Their low batting average masked two things: (1) the spread between their batting average and their on-base percentage was relatively high, meaning they were talking lots of walks (5th highest BB%), and (2) the spread between their batting average and their slugging percentage was also relatively high, meaning they were getting lots of extra-base hits (7th highest ISO). And so far in 2013, their road numbers show them to be hitting well in the early going, as they finished their six-game road trip with 6 wins, 0 losses, 51 runs scored, 15 doubles, and 13 homeruns.

You should listen to what Buster Olney and Tim Kurkjian have to say about both of these ballclubs, starting at about the 22:15 mark and lasting until 25:55 (or so), first addressing how good the A’s are and then addressing how not-as-great-as-sportswriters-seemed-to-think-the Angels-would-be the Angels are proving to be.

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 13, 2013 at 17:19

On the Struggles of the LA Angels

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If you are an ESPN Insider, you should read Buster Olney’s piece from this morning.

If you are not an ESPN Insider, I shall summarize. Olney writes that no baseball owner could throw around cash the way Angels’ owner, Arte Moreno, has without being really upset about their miserable start to the season. And it’s a lot of cash: close to a billion dollars either already spent or committed in future contract value since the last time the Angels made the playoffs (2009). Despite this spending, the Angels already trail the red-hot but wounded Oakland A’s by six-and-a-half games. Hamilton has been just awful, topping off his horrific performance at the plate (.179 AVG, .261 OBP, .051 ISO, .228 wOBA, 35.9% K rate) with an unthinkable baserunning blunder, which ended the Angels’ 5-0 loss to the wretched Astros, which has to really hurt since some expected the series with the Astros to be a sure-fire cure for the Angels’ woes.

As I am a fan of small-market teams (MIN, PIT, SEA, TB, MIL), I find the angst surrounding the Angels…amusing, particularly because T. J. Simers is such an ass, by which I mean bitter old hack.

Written by jjvedamuthu

April 13, 2013 at 16:40