Oakland Athletics vs. Los Angeles Angels: Who Wins in 2016?

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Mar 3, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Chris Coghlan (3) turns the double play while avoiding Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) in the second inning during a spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 3, 2016; Tempe, AZ, USA; Oakland Athletics left fielder Chris Coghlan (3) turns the double play while avoiding Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout (27) in the second inning during a spring training game at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /
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Right Field: Josh Reddick vs. Kole Calhoun

Though comparing Mike Trout to anyone is just plain unfair, Reddick and Kole Calhoun match up quite nicely. Both are left-handed batters who can slug and field. A’s fans may feel snubbed that Calhoun took the Gold Glove from Reddick this year, who was a finalist for the award. But, ironic as it may sound, he didn’t hit well enough to get the Gold Glove. Just look at the batting lines below and you may see that Calhoun just barely beats out Reddick in counting statistics.

Reddick: .272/.333/.449, 20 home runs, 67 runs scored, 77 RBI

Calhoun: .256/.308/.422, 26 home runs, 78 runs scored, 83 RBI

Compare to an injury-shortened 2014 for both outfielders:

Reddick: 109 games, .264/.317/.446, 12 home runs, 53 runs scored, 54 RBI

Calhoun: 127 games, .272/.325/.450, 17 home runs, 90 runs scored, 83 RBI

But he does strike out. A lot. Last year, his strikeout-walk ratio was 3.64, compared to Reddick’s, 1.33. There are other differences in raw numbers: Calhoun struck out 99 more times than Reddick did! Calhoun’s career OBP (.319) is just a smidge higher than Reddick’s (.311), but Reddick’s been around the game three years longer than Calhoun, and the Oakland fielder is trending upwards as far as OBP goes.

When Calhoun did put the ball in play in 2015, his BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was .304, higher than Reddick’s .278 BABIP. Perhaps he was just luckier than Reddick. Yet Reddick’s Isolated Power (.177) was slightly higher than Calhoun’s (.167), which is to say Reddick may slug better than Calhoun. One wonders if Calhoun was on the Athletics and if Reddick was on the Angels, whether or not these numbers would vary greatly. After all, the Angels do benefit the last few years from having Mike Trout and Albert Pujols in the same lineup.

Because Reddick strikes out at a far lesser rate, he could help the A’s put the ball in play more than Calhoun. Yet Calhoun’s numbers are a little more padded because of the lineup he plays in, and because he has shown higher power numbers. Calhoun’s defense, while comparable to Reddick’s, is slightly better as far as fielding percentage (.989 vs. .981).

Advantage: Neither – this matchup is a push.

Next: A's vs. Angels: Starting Pitchers

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