Oakland A’s face tough task in shutting down Shohei Ohtani
The Angles lineup starts to look very thin without generational talent Mike Trout. That said, the Angels lineup has been picking up some steam, slugging 13 runs in two games against the Texas Rangers, and they have hitters that can do damage. I’ve used up my word count on Shohei Ohtani for this article, but he is currently the home run leader, and every ball seems to leave his bat at 115 MPH. Jared Walsh has also been a revelation for the Angels, who might be hitting better than Ohtani.
The two big hot hitters that have stepped up for the Orange County squad are Juan Lagares and Jose Iglesias. A recent hamstring injury might slow down Iglesias, but it sounds like he won’t have any IL time. While Lagares might not be Mike Trout, he has been slashing .350/.381/.550 over the last seven games and brings a very reliable glove in center.
Oakland A’s Hitters
The Oakland A’s top of the order has continued to have success. Matt Olson hit his 13th longball on Wednesday. Mark Canha is seeing the ball great and is picking up extra-base hits left and right. Young, clutch-hitting outfielder Seth Brown continues to be a surprising source of power in this A’s lineup from the left side.
After Matt Chapman seemed to find his way out of his sluggish start, it seems that things have stalled at the plate again for the A’s third baseman. Chapman has had trouble making contact before, but one extra concerning layer is the lack of pop. The Gold Glover hasn’t had an extra-base hit since May 18th, and Chapman’s bat is going to be crucial for the A’s to win their second straight division title.
On a positive note, I’d like to talk about one of my favorite Athletics, Tony Kemp, who is currently flirting with a .400 On-Base Percentage. The second-baseman always brings a hard-nosed plate approach to every at-bat, earning him his fair share of walks despite his severe lack of power. In the past few weeks, Kemp has been riding a hot streak featuring a handful of multiple-hit games, plenty of walks, and even a home run. Kemp will lose some at-bats to the now healthy Chad Pinder, but hopefully, Kemp will get the time to let his hot streak ride out.