Oakland A’s versus Chicago Cubs (August 6)
In this interleague match up, the Oakland A’s sit second in the AL West and the Chicago Cubs are first in the NL Central. Brett Anderson is the scheduled starting pitcher for the A’s and Jon Lester is set to take the ball for the Cubs.
Offensively, both teams have thrived hitting the long ball. For the A’s, Matt Chapman is heading the attack with 24 home runs and 64 RBI. Matt Olsen has hit 22 home runs and Ramon Laureano completes a power trio with 21 home runs. Khris Davis and Marcus Semien have also added to the offensive output, each with 17 home runs.
As a team the A’s have 175 home runs and average 5.1 runs per game.
Similarly, the Cubs have hit 171 home runs and average five runs per game. Javier Baez leads the team in home runs with 26 and in RBI with 73. Kyle Schwarber has gone deep 25 times, while Anthony Rizzo (21 home runs, 71 RBI) and Kris Bryant (21 home runs) complete a quad with 20 or more long balls.
Wilson Contreras is right out the outside of the 20 home run plateau with 19.
On the mound, Brett Anderson has been relatively solid, posting a 9-7 record and 4.04 ERA. Not a strikeout pitcher, he’s fanned only 64 in 127 innings and allowed a relatively low 15 home runs. Yusmiero Petit has been a workhorse out of the bullpen, compiling an ERA of 2.55 in 60 innings. Joakim Soira and Lou Trivia had a combined 4.96 ERA in 94 1/3 innings and closer Blake Treinen has been far from automatic. He has 16 saves, but has allowed 25 walks in 42 2/3 innings with an ERA of 5.48.
As a team the A’s have allowed 4.3 runs per game.
Jon Lester has an identical win-loss record as Anderson with an ERA of 3.86. He’s allowed 134 hits and 18 home runs in 119 innings, while striking out 116. The trio of Steve Cishek, Brandon Kintzler and Kyle Ryan have an ERA of 2.70 in 136 2/3 innings. Closer Craig Kimbrel has struggled since being acquired. He has nine saves but an ERA of 5.68 and four home runs allowed in 12 2/3 innings.
As a team, the Cubs are allowing 4.3 runs per game.
The feeling is that the A’s have a slight advantage on the road. This is mainly because Anderson is better at keeping the ball in the park than Lester. Oakland must get to Lester and avoid getting behind and face the tough Chicago bullpen. Despite the power that both teams possess, this feels like a game that will be relatively low scoring.