Reports call for Sonny and warm weather today in Anaheim. Plus, the other guys are putting a right-hander on the mound!
Sonny is, of course, your current AL ERA leader, trailing only Garrit Cole by three one-hundredths of a point for the overall MLB ERA lead. At 7-3 with a 1.74 ERA, Sonny is quite simply dominating the league this season.
Conversely, today we have Matt Shoemaker starting for the Angels. In two April starts against the A's, Matt pitched a total of 8.2 innings giving up 8 earned in the process. As I said before, Matt's most important attribute is that he is right-handed. The A's can hit right-handed pitchers. This season the A's have hit 55 total home runs; 44 against righties and 11 against lefties. A stark contrast.
For the lineup Billy Butler gets the day off, so batting clean-up and DHing today we have the slugging? (.330) No. We see the on-base machine?? (.279) No. Batting clean-up will be consistent bat of . . . (.202 Avg.) No. Batting clean-up and DHing today is another guy who wasn't on the team last year: Ben Zobrist. That works!
But in all seriousness, Zobrist is 1 for 8 this weekend in Anaheim with 2 strikeouts and zero walks. If Zobrist goes hitless today with 4 ABs his average will fall below the Mendoza line. Otherwise the lineup shapes up as normal with Burns-Semien-Reddick at the top of the order with Sogard and Fuld rounding out the 8-9 spots. Billy Burns snapped his 12-game hitting streak on Tuesday, but has since had six hits in the intervening four games.
|OAKLAND A'S||LOS ANGELES ANGELS|
|Billy Burns - CF||Erick Aybar - SS|
|Marcus Semien - SS||Mike Trout - CF|
|Josh Reddick - RF||Albert Pujols - 1B|
|Ben Zobrist - DH||Kole Calhoun - RF|
|Stephen Vogt - C||David Freese - DH|
|Brett Lawrie - 3B||Johnny Giavotella - 2B|
|Max Muncy - 1B||Efren Navarro - LF|
|Eric Sogard - 2B||Chris Iannetta - C|
|Sam Fuld - LF||Kyle Kubitza - 3B|
|Sonny Gray - RHP||Matt Shoemaker - RHP|
How many Home Runs will the A's hit today?
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5 or more