The A’s had a successful month of June. Pending the outcome of this afternoon’s game against the St. Louis Cardinals they could finish the month with a record of 16-11 or 15-12. Either way June was an excellent month for the Green and Gold especially considering how well the Texas Rangers have began to play. The same way I did last month I will give a preview of what the month of July will hold schedule-wise and a possible outcome of the month.
The A’s will face some tough competition in July including the current best team in baseball (Pittsburgh Pirates), a team who is in first place in arguably the toughest division in baseball (Boston Red Sox), a team with great pitching (Kansas City Royals), two teams on the rise (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Toronto Blue Jays), an up and down team (Chicago Cubs), and a team the A’s have handled easily (Houston Astros). Here’s a look at when the A’s will play them, what to look for, and if the A’s are on the road or at home for their series.
2-4 Cubs: The Cubs have struggled this season, as expected, but they possess two of baseball’s top pitchers in Jeff Samardzija and the now healthy Matt Garza. If the A’s can avoid at least one of those pitchers in the three game series they should be well on their way to a series win or possible sweep.
5-7 @Royals: The Royals have an A’s killer in James Shields. The Royals offense has been the point of concern for them this season, but they are starting to come around. Even though the A’s beat Shields last time out it would be nice if they could avoid him and hopefully shut down a suddenly potent Royals offense.
8-10 @Pirates: The Pirates are the best team in baseball. They can pitch, hit, and play defense. This will be a tough series and somewhat of a measuring stick for both teams to see where they stand amongst the best in baseball.
12-14 Red Sox: The A’s will need to rely on their pitching to shut down a dynamic Red Sox offense. With Jarrod Parker leaving his start early it will be interesting to see who will be on the mound in this series.
15-18 All star break
19-21 @Angels: The Angels have become hot of late. Even though they are 10 games back in the division they still have an outside shot of pulling into the postseason race. Playing the Angels twice in one month will give the A’s a nice chance to shut the Angels completely out of the race.
22-24 @Astros: The A’s have dominated the Astros this season and show no signs of slowing down. Another sweep or series win would be a nice boost leading into two tough series to finish out the month.
25-28 Angels: This series will determine how the A’s will play against the Blue Jays in the final series of the month. See first series against the Angels.
29-31 Blue Jays: The Blue Jays have finally gotten their pitching to come around and their offense has picked up. With the return of Jose Reyes the Jays have an offense that score runs in bunches. If the A’s can keep the games close and get to the Jays bullpen early they will have a good shot to win the series.
The A’s have a tough month ahead of them in July. If they can win the series they are supposed to and at least split the other series they would be in great position in the AL West race. July is make or break month for a lot of teams so look for the Angels, Blue Jays, and Royals to play with extra determination to try and claw their way back into their respective division races.