Over the course of a long 162-game Major League Baseball season, the casual baseball fan will say some games don’t matter.
“Games don’t matter until August anyways.”
“The real season starts after the All-star break”
“There’s still over a hundred games left, who cares.”
To the casual fan, sure, 20 games isn’t a lot. But to others? Every game matters. If you ask A’s manager Bob Melvin or any other member of the Oakland Athletics if games in April matter, without a doubt you will hear that every game matters.
Winning games in April can only help your chances of playing baseball in October.
The Oakland Athletics shocked the baseball world in 2018 when they won 97 games and clinched their first playoff berth since 2014. Nobody seemed to see the Athletics coming, especially after the team’s first 20 contests as they started the season with a sub-.500 record. After starting off 9-11, how do these 2019 Athletics compare to last year’s surprising 97-win club?
Wins and Losses
On the road to a postseason berth, the 2018 Athletics had a decent start to the season, even if they were a few games below the .500 mark. While it may only be a one game difference, the 2019 Athletics are .500 through 20 games as they sit 3.5 games behind the first place Houston Astros.
2018: 26 HR
2019: 36 HR
The 2018 squad loved the long ball as they hit the third most home runs in the MLB with 227. This year’s team is looking to outdo that number as they currently have the third-most home runs in the league with 36, well above the league average of 22. Khris Davis is largely responsible for this improvement as he leads all of baseball with 10 home runs through his first 20 games. Last season, Davis had only four home runs through his first 20 games as he went on to finish with 48 for the season.
Earned Run Average
2018: 5.50 ERA
2019: 4.75 ERA
So far, the 2019 Oakland A’s pitching staff looks a lot sharper than the 2018 staff. Almost improved by an entire run per-game, Brett Anderson is having an incredible year as he leads the staff with a 3-0 record and 2.65 ERA. The bullpen is also taking care of business, led by Blake Treinen’s 0.87 ERA and 5 saves.
Runs (Runs per Game)
2018: 105 (5.25)
2019: 102 (5.1)
Nearly identical from last season, the A’s offense is firing on all cylinders as they are third in all of baseball in runs scored. Marcus Semien is tied for the fourth-most runs scored in the league with 16, while Oakland has five players with 10 or more runs scored to pace the offense.