With Detroit coming to town to start a 4-game set on Monday, the Athletics were hoping they would be playing good, fundamentally sound baseball to greet them. A weekend in Toronto has proven that will not be the case. The Blue Jays series was filled with bad hops and missed opportunities. In each game, the Athletics seemed to be one hit away from coming out of their funk, but that hit never came and the funk remained. The Athletics weren’t manhandled by any stretch, but they were beaten 3 straight, adding to the season-worst streak of 4 losses in a row.
The Athletics’ last victory came in against Tampa Bay on Wednesday with one hit and 3 runs. The A’s capitalized on Rays’ mistakes in the first two games of the series, and took 2 of 3 in Tampa.
Monday is the beginning of a new series against a tough opponent. On the bright side, the Tigers have also been playing poorly the past week. This will be a 4-game battle of teams with good records playing bad baseball; and it could determine playoff seeding later on if these two teams are where they’re expected to be late in the season. Detroit comes in after dropping 3 of 4 to a Rangers‘ team that had been struggling, winning 3 of their previous 10 before facing the Tigers. Texas had been left for dead, but the Tigers seemingly aimed for the sweet spot over the weekend, surrendering totals of 9, 2, 12 and 12 runs allowed in the series.
With the exception of Milone (3.99)vs Smyly (2.97) in the opener, the Athletics starter has a lower ERA than the opposition to start the series. After a rocky start to the season, Milone has been great in his past 3 starts. He’s 2-0 with a 1.37 ERA and a .171 Opponent’s Batting Average. In his career, he’s 2-0 with a 3.24 ERA in 3 regular season starts against Detroit.
The player I’d keep an eye out for this series is Craig Gentry. We’ve talked about his stats before, but simply, this is the team the A’s acquired Gentry to face. His speed will be a nuisance as always, but look for him to be utilized in tandem with Coco Crisp to really start the mind games while roaming the bases.
Series Prediction: A’s take 3 of 4.