Wednesday, July 17, 2024
Sports Gaming Digest FREE Digital Sports Magazine Subscription

MLB Preview: Oakland Athletics (36-91) at Chicago White Sox (50-77)

OAKLAND ATHLETICS NOTES:

ABOUT THE A’S: Won two of three from Kansas City to close out the last homestand and are now 3-4 over the last seven games…are 6-14 (.300) in the month of August and have clinched a losing record for the seventh consecutive full month and 11th time in the last 12 months…are 24-41 (.369) over the last 65 games dating back to June 6 after going 12-50 (.194) over the first 62 contests…are 36-91 (.283) overall, which is the lowest winning percentage in the majors…the last two Major League teams to finish with a winning percentage under .290 are the 2003 Tigers (43-119, .265) and 1962 Mets (40-120, .250)…have been swept 17 times this year, which ties the Oakland record set in 1978…have swept two series…are 9-14-1 over the last 24 series after going 1-16 over the first 17…have a run differential of -304, which is he lowest in the majors…the lowest in Oakland history is -287 in 1979 and the lowest in Athletics history is -344 in 1915.

OUCH: The A’s were hit by a pitch for the fifth consecutive game yesterday, which matches their longest such streak of the season (April 26-30) and is one short of the Oakland record of six (five times, last: June 9-15, 2019)… have nine hit by pitches during the streak and 72 for the season, which is fifth most in the majors and fifth most in Oakland history (98 in 2021, 88 in 2001, 87 in 2019, 76 in 2018)…A’s pitchers hit two batters yesterday and now have 78 for the season, which is the most in the majors, an Oakland record and three short of the Athletics record of 81 set in 1911.

OFFENSE: The A’s were shut out for the 13th time this year yesterday, which is tied for third most in the majors…rank last in the majors in batting (.223), slugging (.364), OPS (.664), runs (453) and extra base hits (319), third in fewest doubles (174) and lowest on-base percentage (.300), sixth in fewest home runs (127), seventh in most strikeouts (1165) and tied for seventh in most grounded into double plays (97)…have 25 sacrifice hits, which is second most in the majors and is the most by an A’s team since 2012 (27).

IN THE PINCH: A’s pinch hitters have 35 hits, which is tied for second most by an A’s team over the last 32 years (had 57 in 1997)…the A’s lead the majors in pinch hits, rank second in plate appearances (153), tied for fourth in extra base hits (8), tied for fifth in doubles (5), tied for sixth in walks (13) and tied for ninth in home runs (3).

PITCHING: The A’s pitching staff allowed 40 runs in six games on the last homestand (37 er in 55.0 ip, 6.05 ERA)…have a 5.76 ERA overall, which is the highest in the majors and the highest in Oakland history (5.48 in 1997)…also have the highest opponents on-base percentage in the majors (.357), the second highest slugging percentage (.462) and OPS (.819) and third highest batting average (.270)…have a ML leading 539 walks, which are the most by an A’s team since 2008 (576)…are tied for the most wild pitches in the majors (55), rank fourth in fewest shutouts (4), fifth in most home runs (172) and sixth in fewest strikeouts (1024).

STARTING PITCHING: The A’s have used six different starting pitchers in the previous six games and nine in the previous 13 contests…will use a repeat starter today (Waldichuk), but Neal is scheduled to make his first start tomorrow…yesterday, Martínez became the A’s 20th different pitcher to start a game this year, which is an on-going Oakland record, second most in Athletics history to the 1915 Philadelphia A’s (24) and tied with the Royals for the most in the majors this year…A’s starting pitchers are 2-10 with a 5.29 ERA (56 er in 95.1 ip) over the last 22 games dating back to July 29 and both of the wins are by Paul Blackburn…are 12-57 with a 6.01 ERA for the season… have the fewest wins and highest ERA in the majors and are tied for the most losses…the fewest wins from starting pitchers in Major League history is 21 by the Pirates last year…the ERA is currently the highest in Athletics history (5.94 in 1997)…have tossed 7.1 innings or fewer in each game and have the second fewest innings pitched (575.1).

THE BULLPEN: The A’s bullpen is 2-4 with a save, four blown saves and a 6.20 ERA (37 er in 53.2 ip) over the last 12 games…has a 5.51 ERA overall, which is the highest in the majors and the highest in Oakland history (5.22 in 1980)… also has the most losses in the majors this year (34) and the second most innings pitched (539.1)…has set Athletics single-season records for most losses, walks (293) and runs allowed (357) by relievers…is 21-for-45 (46.7%) in save opportunities…has the lowest save percentage in the majors, the second fewest saves and is tied for the fourth most blown saves (24)…has allowed 94-of-243 (38.7%) inherited runners to core, which is the third highest percentage…has the second most inherited runners.

ON THE BASES: The A’s are 13-for-14 in stolen base attempts in August and 116-for-139 (83.5%) for the season…rank fifth in the majors in steals, attempts and percentage…the stolen bases are the most by an A’s team since 2012 (122)…A’s opponents are 89-for-128 (69.5%) in stolen base attempts, which is the second lowest success rate in the majors…the 39 caught stealings are the most…A’s pitchers have 12 pickoffs, which is tied for third most.

DEFENSIVE DOINGS: The A’s have committed 76 errors, which is fifth most in the majors…A’s outfielders have four assists in the last nine games and now have 23 for the season, which is tied for fifth most in the majors…the A’s have turned 90 double plays, which is third fewest.

HOME AND AWAY: The A’s begin a seven-game road trip to Chicago-AL (four games) and Seattle (three games) tonight…went 1-5 on the last road trip to Washington (0-3) and St. Louis (1-2) and are 16-46 (.258) on the road, which is the worst road record in the majors…have clinched a losing record on the road for the second consecutive season (went 31-51 last year)…went 2-4 on the last homestand against Baltimore (0-3) and Kansas City (2-1) and are 20-45 (.308) at home, which is the lowest home winning percentage in the majors…went 29-51 at home last year and have back-to-back losing seasons at home for the first time since 2015-16.

ONE-RUN GAMES AND OTHER CLOSE CALLS: Half of the A’s wins have been by one run as they are 18-24 (.429) in one-run games and 18-67 (.212) in games decided by two or more runs…are tied for the second most one-run losses in the majors and rank third in games (42)…have seven walk-off wins, which is tied for fifth in the majors…have scored the winning run in their final at bat in 15 of their 36 victories (41.7%)…are 6-7 (.462) in extra inning games…are tied for sixth in the majors in extra inning losses, tied for eighth in games (13) and tied for 10th in wins.

TRAGIC NUMBER: The A’s were officially eliminated from the American League West Sunday in game 124…it marks the earliest they have been eliminated from the West, topping the previous mark of game 129 last year on Aug. 28…this marks just the third time in Oakland history the A’s were eliminated before Sept. 1 (game 135 on Aug. 30, 1979)…have a tragic number of one to be eliminated from the playoffs.

PLAYER NOTES: Yesterday, Sean Newcomb became the 58th player to appear in a game for the A’s this year, which is second highest in Athletics history to the record of 64 set last year…have already set Athletics records for most pitchers (37) and most relievers (33) in a season and an Oakland record for most starting pitchers (20)…the 58 players are second most in the majors to the Angels (60) and the 37 pitchers are third most (Rays 39, Dodgers 38)… have employed 18 rookies after using an Oakland record 34 last year…have set an Oakland record for most non-Covid IL placements (30)…used the IL an Athletics record 31 times last year (including nine times for Covid).

A’S VS. WHITE SOX

  • The A’s won two of three in Oakland June 30- July 2 to open the season series.
  • Went 2-5 against Chicago last year and have lost the season series in each of the previous two years.
  • Are 29-28 against Chicago dating back to 2014…that includes 16-13 in Oakland and 13-15 in Chicago.
  • Have won 13 of the last 18 games in Oakland and have dropped five of the last seven in Chicago.

Year Home Road Totals
2023 2-1 0-0 2-1
2022 1-3 1-2 2-5
Oakland History: 324-300
at the Coliseum: 172-143
at Guaranteed Rate Field: 70-69
All-Time: 801-1163

TODAY’S TIDBITS
Zack Gelof has nine home runs, which are the most in Athletics history by a player over the first 34 games of his career…the earliest an Athletic reached 10 home runs was by Mark McGwire, who did it his 41st game… is tied with Mitchell Page (1977) for the most extra base hits (21), tied for third in doubles (21) and tied for seventh in runs (23)…his 39 hits are tied for fourth most in Oakland history (Page 46, Weeks 42, Grieve 41).

TODAY’S STARTING PITCHER: Ken Waldichuk (2-7, 5.91 ERA)
FOR STARTERS: Is scheduled to make his 29th appearance and 18th start of the season…it will be his 16th traditional start as he also has two appearances as an opener…has also pitched three times in relief of an opener…has allowed two runs or fewer in four of his last five appearances and is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA (9 er in 25.0 ip) and .204 (19-for-93) opponents batting average over that span.

RANKINGS: Ranks fourth among Major League rookies in strikeouts (107), sixth in innings pitched (105.0) and tied for eighth in games started (17)… also ranks second in most walks (59) and most runs (74), third in most hits (117), tied for third in home runs (18) and tied for fifth in most losses (7)…the 59 walks are tied for ninth most among all pitchers…among pitchers with 100 or more innings, he has the highest opponents on-base percentage in the majors (.377), the second highest ERA (5.91) and OPS (.877), fifth highest slugging percentage (.500) and seventh highest batting average (.283).

APRIL AND MAY, AND THEN THE REST: Went 1-4 with a 7.46 ERA and 1.012 opponents OPS in 12 games, including 10 starts in April and May…is 1-3 with a 4.47 ERA (27 er in 54.1 ip) and .735 opponents OPS in 16 games, including seven starts, since then…yielded 14 home runs in 50.2 innings in April and May but just four in 54.1 innings since then.

HOME AND AWAY: Is 0-2 with a 4.44 ERA (25 er in 50.2 ip) and .818 opponents OPS in 13 games at home compared to 2-5 with a 7.29 ERA (44 er in 54.1 ip) and .929 OPS in 15 games in the road…is now 2-3 with a 4.24 ERA and .781 OPS in 16 career games in the Coliseum, 2-6 with a 7.03 ERA and .918 OPS in 19 games on the road.

OPPONENTS BATTING: Has allowed 22 hits to left-handed hitters, 14 of which are for extra bases (nine doubles, one triple, four home runs)…12 of the 18 home runs he has allowed have been solo shots…opponents are 2-for16 (.125) with a double, home run and three walks with the bases loaded… as a starter, he has a .244 (30-for-123) opponents batting average the first time through the order, .288 (32-for-111) the second time and .338 (24-for71) the third time.

STARTING, RELIEVING AND OPENING: Has pitched in 28 games…that includes 15 traditional starts, two starts as an opener (May 28, June 20), three appearances in relief of an opener (May 24, July 5, July 25) and eight traditional relief appearances…began the season in the starting rotation and made nine starts through May 19…has tossed five innings or fewer in nine of his 15 traditional starts and never more than 6.1 innings…logged 1.0 inning and 1.2 innings in his two starts as an opener (May 28 vs. Houston, June 20 at Cleveland)…has tossed at least 2.0 innings in eight of his 11 relief appearances…has left five of his starts in position to win only to have the bullpen blow the save.

THAT’S ODD: Has a 3.59 ERA (23 er in 57.2 ip) in odd numbered innings, a 8.75 ERA (46 er in 47.1 ip) in even numbered innings…last year, he had a 7.52 ERA and .962 opponents OPS in odd numbered innings, a 1.26 ERA and .523 OPS in even numbered innings.

2023 DAY-BY-DAY: Began the season in the A’s starting rotation and went 1-4 with a 6.85 ERA in nine starts through May 19 before splitting his duties between the pen, the rotation and opening…allowed six runs on a career-high nine hits in his first start of the season on April 2 against Los Angeles (AL) and was the losing pitcher in the A’s 6-0 loss…surrendered a three-run home run to O’Hoppe in the fourth to snap a career-high 14.0-inning scoreless streak dating back to last year…allowed three home runs against the Angels and a career-high four in his next start on April 7 at Tampa Bay…the seven home runs in back-to-back starts match the most in Oakland history by a pitcher over a two-game stretch…Mike Fiers (Sept. 3-9, 2019) is the only other one to do it over the last 25 years…allowed a career-high eight runs in 3.0 innings in the start against the Rays, which was his shortest outing of the season in a traditional start…tossed a season-high 6.1 innings April 12 at Baltimore but had a no decision in the A’s 8-4 win…left with a 4-2 lead but Familia blew the save…it was the first of five times he left with the lead in position to win only to have the bullpen blow the save (April 12, 24 and 30; August 7 and 13)…tossed 5.0 scoreless innings in his fourth start on April 18 at Chicago (NL) but had a no decision as the A’s were shutout 4-0…struck out a season-high seven batters in 5.2 innings on April 30 against Cincinnati… finished April 0-2 with a 7.26 ERA and .976 opponents OPS in six starts… had the highest opponents OPS (.976) and slugging percentage (.598) in the majors in April, the fourth highest on-base percentage (.378) and the fifth highest ERA and batting average (.307)…the ERA was the highest April ERA in Athletics history among pitchers with 30 or more innings…allowed 10 home runs, which were the most in the majors and matched Gil Heredia (2001) for the most home runs in April in Athletics history…then went 1-2 with a 7.78 ERA and 1.062 OPS in six games in May…walked a career-high six batters and tossed a career-high 114 pitches on May 6 at Kansas City but picked up his first win of the season in the A’s 5-4 victory…then walked five batters in each of his next two starts and his streak of three consecutive games with five
or more walks matches the longest by an A’s pitcher over the last 30 years (Chad Gaudin, July 12-23, 2007)…was moved out of the starting rotation after allowing four runs on five hits and five walks in 5.0 innings in a 5-1 loss at Houston on May 19…took the loss in his first relief appearance on May 24 at Seattle…struck out a season-high tying seven batters in 2.2 innings but allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks…made his first start as an opener on May 28 against Houston (1.0 ip, 1 h, 1 r, 1 er, 2 so)…earned the first save of his career on June 12 against Tampa Bay when he tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in the A’s 4-3 win…became the first A’s pitcher to toss three or more scoreless innings for the save in a one-run game since Elias Sosa on May 2, 1978…made his second start as an opener on June 20 at Cleveland (1.2 ip, 2 h, 2 so)…allowed six runs in 2.1 innings of relief on June 25 at Toronto…went 1-1 with a 4.91 ERA, .203 opponents batting average and .678 OPS in five games, including two starts, in July…struck out a season-high tying seven batters on Aug. 7 vs. Texas.

LAST START: He had his third consecutive no decision in the A’s 7-2, 10-inning loss to Baltimore on Friday in Oakland…struck out a season-high tying seven batters in 5.2 innings…had a 1-0 lead when he allowed solo home run to Hays and McCann in the fourth inning…left after 5.2 innings trailing 2-1 but the A’s scored one in the sixth to get him off the hook.

CHICAGO WHITE SOX NOTES:

WHITE SOX AT A GLANCE
The Chicago White Sox have lost eight of their last 11 games and 20 of 29 as they continue a seven-game homestand tonight with the opener against Oakland.

RHP Jesse Scholtens, who carried a shutout into the seventh inning of his last home start on 8/12 vs. Milwaukee is scheduled to start for the White Sox.

The Sox opened the homestand by dropping two of three games to Seattle, losing the first two by a combined 20-5 margin before yesterday recording a 5-4 victory in 10 innings.

Following this four-game series, the Sox take a brief three-game trip to Baltimore (8/28-30) followed by a three-game homestand vs. Detroit (9/1-3).

The Sox went 2-3 on their last trip to the Cubs (1-1) and Colorado (1-2) from 8/15-20 and 2-4 on their last homestand vs. the Yankees (2-1) and Milwaukee (0-3) from 8/7-13.

TONIGHT’S STORYLINES
The White Sox are 5-2 at home vs. Oakland since 2021, recording a 2.57 ERA (18 ER/63.0 IP).

Rookie Oscar Colás owns a career-high, six-game hitting streak, going 8-21 (.381) with four doubles, two RBI, five runs scored and a .571 slugging percentage.

Eloy Jiménez is a career .338/.383/.635 (25-74) hitter with six home runs and 15 RBI in 20 games against the A’s, and Luis Robert Jr. is hitting .417/.432/.611 (15-36) in eight games.

Tim Anderson needs 10 hits to become the 19th player in history to record his first 1,000 career hits in a Sox uniform (STATS).

Elvis Andrus is hitting .353/.362/.544 (24-68) with seven doubles, two home runs and 14 RBI in his last 17 games.

TODAY’S TRANSACTIONS
Prior to today’s series opener vs. Oakland, the White Sox recalled C Korey Lee from Class AAA Charlotte and optioned catcher Carlos Pérez to Charlotte.

Lee, 25, was acquired from Houston on 7/28 in exchange for RHP Kendall Graveman.

YESTERDAY’S RECAP
Tim Anderson stole third base and scored on a throwing error with no outs in the 10th inning as the White Sox avoided a three-game sweep with a 5-4 victory over Seattle.

The Sox built a 3-0 lead on Anderson’s RBI single in the third and Trayce Thompson’s two-run homer off George Kirby in the sixth, his first since rejoining the Sox.

The Mariners scored three runs off Gregory Santos in the ninth to take a 4-3 lead, but the Sox forced extras when pinch-hitter Andrew Benintendi delivered a one-out single off Andrés Muñoz to score rookie Oscar Colás, who doubled to lead off the inning.

Anderson, playing his first game after completing a five-game suspension, went 2-5 with a RBI and run scored, and Colás matched his career high with three hits and scored twice.

Michael Kopech threw 4.0 scoreless IP, allowing one hit with four walks and five strikeouts before leaving with leg cramps.

Rookie Sammy Peralta pitched a scoreless 10th to earn his second MLB victory.

The Mariners went 4-18 with RISP and left 15 runners on base.

The White Sox recorded their 28th comeback victory of the season and eighth walkoff win.

ROBERT’S REMARKABLE RUN
Luis Robert Jr. is attempting to win his first Silver Slugger Award and his second Rawlings Gold Glove® Award (2020) … Robert Jr. would become the first player in White Sox history to win both of those awards in the same season.

Below is additional information from his season to date.

Is the 10th player in White Sox history (27th time) to record 30-plus doubles and 30-plus home runs in a season … Robert Jr. and Mookie Betts are the only MLB players to record those numbers in 2023;

Ranks among the American League leaders in numerous categories, including HR (2nd, 33), SLG (2nd, .551) and XBH (2nd, 64);

Is the only player in MLB with 30-plus 2B, 30-plus HR, 65-plus RBI, 75-plus runs scored and 15-plus SB;

Needs four SB to join Magglio Ordóñez (2001) as the only players in Sox history to hit 30-plus 2B and HR with 20-plus SB;

His 33 HR are the most in Sox history by a CF and the most by an OF since Jermaine Dye (34) in 2008 … 24 of his 33 HR have been solo shots, tied for the third-highest total in Sox history behind Albert Belle (26 in 1998) and Frank Thomas (25 in 1994);

Is on pace for 42 HR, which would tie Jim Thome (2006) and Thomas (2003) for the fourth-highest total in Sox history behind Belle (49 in 1998), Dye (44 in 2006) and Thomas (2000);

Has already set career highs in every offensive category … his 121 games played are 23 more than his previous career best, and his 33 homers are three less than his career total entering the season.

WHITE SOX VS. OAKLAND ATHLETICS
The A’s lead the season series, 2-1, after winning two of three games at the Coliseum from 6/30-7/2.

The White Sox are 10-7 against the Athletics since 2021 after going 4-15 from 2017-19.

The Sox went 5-2 in 2022, winning two of three games at home from 7/29-31 and three of four in Oakland from 9/8-11, their first series win at The Coliseum since 2016.

Oakland defeated the Sox in the 2020 AL Wild Card Series.

HOW THE WEST WAS WON
The Sox are 10-19 vs. the American League West this season, including a 4-8 record at home.

The Sox went 18-16 vs. the division last season and 16-17 in 2021 … they are 23-22 at home vs. the AL West since 2021.

STARTING PITCHER – #62 JESSE SCHOLTENS RHP
SCHOLTENS AT A GLANCE
Is scheduled to make his seventh start and 21st appearance of the season with the White Sox.

Ranks among American League rookies (minimum 50.0 IP) in first pitch strike percentage (4th, 66.5), quality starts (T8th, three), opponent OPS (10th, .706) and ERA (12th, 3.79).

Went 0-3 with a 2.88 ERA (8 ER/25.0 IP) in eight appearances (three starts) from 7/16-8/6.

Recorded three consecutive starts from 8/1-12, tied for the longest streak by a White Sox pitcher this season.

Is limiting left-handed hitters to a .202 (20-99) average with 12 walks, 22 strikeouts, and no home runs in 2023 … is one of four MLB pitchers who hasn’t allowed a home run to a lefty this year (min. 100 PA).

Has held opponents to a .182 (12-66) average with eight walks and 15 strikeouts in his first inning pitched.

Became the first rookie to start a game for the White Sox this season on 5/27 at Detroit.

Made his MLB debut on 4/7/23 at Pittsburgh, a day after his 29th birthday, allowing one run on three hits with two walks and four strikeouts over 3.0 IP in relief.

Signed a MiLB contract with the Sox on 12/20/22 … had his contract selected on 4/7, was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte on 4/13 and recalled on 5/22.

Was originally selected by San Diego in the ninth round of the 2016 draft out of Wright State (Ohio) University.

LAST START
Suffered the loss on 8/19 at Colorado after allowing five runs on five hits with five walks and two strikeouts across 3.0 IP.

His runs allowed and walks were both career highs and his 3.0 IP were a career low in a start … exited in the fourth inning with the Sox trailing, 5-2 … Chicago lost, 11-5

Owned a 45.0 first-strike percentage and 5.8 swinging-strike percentage (five swing and misses) vs. 20 batters … threw a career-high 86 pitches (43 strikes) with the following pitch breakdown: 40 four-seam fastballs (92.5 mph avg; 94.5 mph max), 24 sliders (85.9 avg; 88.6 max), 20 curveballs (74.8 avg; 76.5 max) and two changeups (86.7 avg; 87.1 max).

QUALITY GUY
Recorded three consecutive quality starts from 8/1-12, tied for the longest streak by a White Sox pitcher this year … Dylan Cease, Lucas Giolito and Lance Lynn also have recorded three straight QS this season.

Is 0-3 with a 4.64 ERA (11 ER/21.1 IP), .250 (20-80) opponents average, 10 walks and 19 strikeouts in his last four starts.

IN THE ZONE
Is 0-4 with a 4.18 ERA (5 ER/28.0 IP) in his last nine games (four starts), holding opponents to two earned runs or less in seven with three scoreless efforts.

Has tallied a career-high six strikeouts two of his last four starts, recording at least two strikeouts in each of his last six outings.

Leads the team and ranks 15th in the American League with a 66.5 first pitch strike percentage (minimum 55. IP).

START ‘EM UP
Is 0-3 with a 4.80 ERA (16 ER/30.0 IP), .297 (35-118) opponents average, 12 walks and 23 strikeouts in six starts (three quality), compared to a 1-3 record with a 2.76 ERA (9 ER/29.1 IP), .213 (23-108) opponents average, 10 walks and 19 strikeouts in 14 relief appearances this year.

Is 0-1 with a 5.23 ERA (6 ER/10.1 IP) in his two home starts this year.

VS. OAKLAND ATHLETICS || A.L. WEST
Is scheduled to make his first career start (second appearance) against Oakland.

Pitched 4.0 IP of relief on 6/30 at Oakland … allowed three runs on five hits (one home run) with one walk and three strikeouts … Chicago lost, 7-4.

is 0-1 with a 3.24 ERA (6 ER/16.2 IP), .169 (10-59) opponents average, four walks and 11 strikeouts in six career appearances (one start) against the American League West.

Sportsbook Advisor

Related Articles

Wager-Tracker: All Sports Betting Log

Latest Articles

Cellucor C4