Oakland Athletics: The Art Of Playing Spoiler
By Joey Lopez
The A’s open up a three-game series on Monday night in Anaheim to face the Angels. With the playoffs out of reach, the A’s will look to play the role of spoiler.
The Oakland Athletics will face off against the Angels beginning on Monday night in Anaheim. The Angels are currently 1.5 games behind the Twins for the AL’s second wild card spot. The A’s, meanwhile, will have to settle for playing the role of spoiler for yet another year.
September will offer plenty of opportunities for the A’s to throw a wrench in not only the Angels’ plans for October, but for Seattle and Texas as well. The A’s first challenge will be stopping the Angels.
Oakland will roll out with Daniel Gossett (3-6, 5.49 ERA) on Monday followed by Chris Smith (0-3, 5.56) and Kendall Graveman (4-4, 4.24 ERA). The A’s will need Gossett to pitch well on Monday if they want to capture a series win.
Players To Watch
- Daniel Gossett: The A’s will need a strong showing from their rotation, but it all starts with Gossett. He is coming off a subpar performance in Baltimore last week and is having a subpar season overall.
- Khris Davis: Davis is coming close to eclipsing last year’s home run total of 42. He has 36 on the year and despite slashing just .212/.299/.565 in August, Davis remains a threat on offense. More specifically, Davis has retained incredible power this month. He has belted 8 home runs this month.
- Matt Olson: Like Davis, Olson is a legitimate power threat on offense for Oakland. Olson has performed well since arriving in Oakland this month. He is slashing .314/.375/.608 with 5 HR and 10 RBI this month.
- Matt Chapman: Chapman is regarded as a plus-defender with a bright future ahead of him. He has provided the A’s with great stability at third base this year and is making progress at the plate this month. He is slashing .301/.372/.566 with 4 HR and 15 RBI in August.
- Kendall Graveman: Graveman is coming off a strong start on Friday night against Texas. The A’s are looking for someone to step up and help fill the void that Sonny Gray left behind when he was sent to New York. Graveman is a strong candidate to help fill that void.
The A’s will have plenty of opportunities coming up to play the role of spoiler. While it may not be the most desirable role this time of year, it could make for some interesting baseball.