Sep 29, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Alexi Amarista (5) reaches third base against San Francisco Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) after taking a lead off against the San Francisco Giants during the fifth inning at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
The Oakland A’s are set to square off against the National League East in Interleague play this upcoming season, along with 4 games against the San Francisco Giants. It may only be 20 games, but 20 games can be a huge factor when fighting in a tightly contested division. For that reason, I am starting a series of articles that go in depth about how certain moves are going to impact the Oakland Athletics. In this first article we are going to focus on moves the Giants are making that may have an impact on the A’s four games against them.
The San Francisco Giants have relatively the same core group from last season. One key addition is Tim Hudson (former A’s pitcher). With Barry Zito (also former A’s pitcher) taking a year off, Hudson will be taking a spot in the rotation. It’s tricky to predict this series. The Giants won 2 world series with some of these guys, and with the same core group, they missed playoffs altogether in 2013. They’ve shown they can be champions, as well as just a decent team. Essentially, it’ll end up being the A’s offseason moves that impact the Giants rather than their moves affecting the A’s. The stacked pitching staff and great offense will be too much for the Giants this season.
The Giants have the makings to be a good team, but the A’s look like a much better team going into the season, and when July comes around and they face off in the battle of the bay, I expect that the A’s will once again triumph. One move that might see the A’s struggle to overcome the Giants is a much more physically fit Pablo Sandoval. He looks like a completely new person with his transformation. The new physical shape will make him more of a threat defensively and on the bases.
If the Giants can return to their 2012 form, the series will be split 2 a piece. But if the rotation continues to struggle then Oakland will take the series sweeping it with ease. Overall the Giants haven’t made to many moves this offseason and the A’s have improved tremendously. So even if the Giants improve, the A’s will be just as good if not better, overall making it difficult for the Giants to overcome the Oakland A’s.