Best Team vs. Hottest Squad as Rays and A's kick series off Monday

Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics, Oakland A's
Esteury Ruiz, Oakland Athletics, Oakland A's / Mike Carlson/GettyImages

Who would have thought this would be happening on a random Monday, June 12, just a few days, let alone a few weeks, ago?

The Oakland Athletics (17-50) are the hottest team in the league having won their last five games in a row and the Tampa Bay Rays are simply the best boasting an unparalleled 48-20 record and leading all MLB teams. Both franchises will face each other four times this week starting Monday. Uh, oh!

The two American League superpowers (hey, just accept it!) are scheduled to kick this four-game series off today with James Kaprielian (1-6) starting for the A's and Zach Eflin (8-1) doing the same for the visiting Rays.

Kap is coming off his first and lone win of the season (last Wednesday against Pittsburgh) while Eflin has won four of the last five games he's started (the odd one didn't end in a loss but rather a no-decision).

As if facing the mighty Rays wasn't a task tall enough, the A's will do so inside a crumbling Coliseum on Monday that we expect to be rocking on Tuesday when the Reverse Boycott hit the venue. The problem for Oakland, though, is their ugly 7-24 record at home. Just for context, the boys have a 5-0 record on the road in their last five games!

The Athletics wrapped up the month of May with a six-game homestand ending 2-4 as they got swept by the Houston Astros before winning a three-game series against a strong Atlanta Braves ballclub.

Aledmys Diaz is coming in hot with a .462 batting average in the past week along with Jace Peterson's .444 AVG, the only A's hittier above .375 in that span. That said, the homers have come aplenty and front all fronts with Peterson and Brent Rooker bagging two apiece and four other men getting one each in the last week.

Isaac Paredes is the man to keep an eye on when it comes to Devil Rays batters, as he's belted three homers in the last seven days and six games played. The good thing is that when he doesn't put the ball out of play he usually strikes out, so Kap will know what to do. Wander Franco (who else?) leads the Rays with seven hits in as many games in as many days, one of those leaving the park.

Next. Oakland beats Milwaukee 8-6, gets first sweep of the season. Oakland beats Milwaukee 8-6, gets first sweep of the season. dark

Game Date: Monday, June 12, 6:40 PM PT

Location: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland


Listen: TB: WDAE, WQBN - OAK: KIQI A's Cast